“The wisdom of the prudent is to discern his way, but the folly of fools is deceiving.”
I’ve said it several times in A Call to Excellence, and it bears repeating: Don’t believe everything you think.
The challenge is that we don’t always see clearly. We see through a filter. We see through a narrow and limited lens. We see selectively and subjectively. We have blind spots. As a result, sometimes we don’t see with accuracy, and as a result we get deceived.
What also gets us into trouble is that our perspective is limited, but it feels complete. Again, the truth is that we don’t see as clearly or completely as we think we do. We tend to see situations in a way that justifies how we see situations. “Look carefully” is hard spiritual and mental work, but we must do it, and we must get good at it.
If we fail to do the hard work of discernment, we will get distracted and deceived.
We live in a fallen world. There are snares and pitfalls we need to avoid. There are temptations and seductions we must stay away from. There are people who seek to deceive us and ideologies that want to pull us off-path. There are lies and deceptions we must have the discernment to recognize and the discipline to reject.
In the midst of the confusion and chaos of today’s media-saturated society, the book of Proverbs says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding … be not wise in your own eyes.”
This is a commandment to think clearly and carefully. It is an admonition to acknowledge God as the author of truth, and then be disciplined and discerning in your thinking process. Recognize that not everything you think or feel is correct. You have an old nature which is driven by “deceitful passions.” Your mind and heart are fully capable of deceiving you and leading you in the wrong direction.
Truth and wisdom come from the Lord, not from you. Your primary responsibility is not to declare an opinion and then try to defend it; rather, you should first discover the truth and then align your life with it.
So again … Don’t believe everything you think.