Are You Naive?

Thursday, January 22, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Do Your Best.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Proverbs 8 (NASB).

O Naïve Ones

Does not wisdom call? …she cries out:
“To you, O men, I call,
And my voice is to the sons of men.
“O naive ones, understand prudence;
And, O fools, understand wisdom.
“Listen, for I will speak noble things;
And the opening of my lips will reveal right things.
“For my mouth will utter truth;
And wickedness is an abomination to my lips…
“Take my instruction and not silver,
And knowledge rather than choicest gold.
“For wisdom is better than jewels;
And all desirable things cannot compare with her.” ~ vv. 1-11

If someone is naïve, he or she is normally very trusting, but also can be lacking in wisdom, knowledge, experience, and/or discernment. Naïve people are usually very gullible, i.e. they are those who easily trust and believe whatever they hear without questioning whether or not it is actually true, so they are easily duped or cheated by those who are deceivers and manipulators. I used to be very naïve, but through experience and understanding, by the grace of God, I learned to test what I hear, see, and read against the Word of God and in prayer, seeking wisdom and discernment to make right judgments. I am not perfect at this, yet the Lord has helped me to gain much wisdom over the years so that I don’t so easily fall prey to believing what is false without checking it out to make sure it is true.

So, if we are naïve people, which many people are, we need to gain prudence – discretion, judgment and wisdom. So, how do we do this? Sadly enough, most often we learn this through hitting our heads against brick walls, not literally, but by trusting others and then by getting hurt when we realize our trust was betrayed - that what they said was true was really a lie - and then by us repeating those same mistakes. We also learn through the study of God’s word. I have learned much over the years with regard to many things I was taught in my youth, that some of what I was taught was not what the Word teaches at all. So, we need to get out of the habit of trusting everything that sounds good, and we need to get into the habit of testing what we hear, so that we don’t fall prey to deception.

It is wisdom here that is crying out to us to gain understanding. Wisdom is God/Jesus. It is God’s Word, but it is also knowing how to rightly handle the Word of Truth, too, for many can twist the scriptures and can take them out of context and can make them say whatever they want in order to support their own belief systems. So, we must exercise wisdom even in the study of scripture so that we are not led astray there, as well. Context is really important. I learned so many scriptures in my youth out of context, so when I read them in context, they often took on a completely new meaning. Also, we need to compare scripture with scripture, because some scriptures may appear to contradict others. For instance, if 10 scriptures clearly teach one thing, but only one says something different, then maybe that one was incorrectly translated or interpreted. Also, we must interpret all scripture in light of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the New Covenant relationship between God and man.

Wisdom Hates Evil

“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And I find knowledge and discretion.
“The fear of the Lord is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverted mouth, I hate.
“Counsel is mine and sound wisdom;
I am understanding, power is mine…
“I love those who love me;
And those who diligently seek me will find me.”
~ vv. 12-17​

If you want to be wise and discerning, then you need to hate evil. I believe the biggest problem with Christians yielding to sin’s deceitfulness is that many of those who profess faith in Jesus Christ have never really learned to hate what is evil. They still embrace it. They still love it. They are still entertained by it. It doesn’t bother them. They don’t grieve over their own sins much less over the sins of others. Their brothers and sisters in Christ could be trapped again by sin’s deceitfulness, and they don’t even bother to find out. Instead they laugh and joke with them and share in the same types of entertainment, and they just make each other feel good, but they aren’t rescuing anyone, including themselves.

Sadly enough, we often learn to hate evil by either having evil done to us by others and/or through our own sinful failures, which often result in much pain and suffering to ourselves and to those we love. And, stubborn and unwise as humans can sometimes be, oftentimes it takes many instances of sinful failure and/or having evil done against us before we ever really and truly learn to hate it with a passion.

Yet, we will never learn to hate it if we purposefully and willfully continue to find enjoyment and pleasure in it, and if we persist in being entertained by it via movies, books, TV shows, music, games, etc. Also, we will not learn to hate evil if we don’t join in regular fellowship with our Lord, seeking to know him with our whole being, and by doing what his word teaches us. We don’t hate evil because we don’t really know God in his fullness. We are not in tune with him, and thus we don’t feel what he feels with a passion. Yet, many do. I do. Yet, sadly enough, there were times in my life when I chose to learn much of this the hard way. Hopefully you will not. But, thanks be to God, his grace taught me what I needed.

And yet, one of the biggest roadblocks to hating what is evil, I believe, is deception and desensitization. I can remember when we used to watch a lot of TV and movies. [We gave up our TV 6 years ago.] At times, there would be things in the movies I knew were wrong. I have been a Christian since I was 7, so I knew better. And, yet, I wanted to be entertained, so I would accept a little bad for what I felt was the overall good of the enjoyment of a “good” movie. And, then I would accept a little more, and a little more to the point to where I became desensitized to all the evil in the movies until God broke through my heart. So, it is with so many people today, and so they don’t recognize evil as evil, and so how can they hate what they have learned to tolerate and accept? Oh, how we must test what we see, hear and read against the Word of Truth, so that we are not easily deceived and led astray!

Listen to God

“Now therefore, O sons, listen to me,
For blessed are they who keep my ways.
“Heed instruction and be wise,
And do not neglect it.
“Blessed is the man who listens to me,
Watching daily at my gates,
Waiting at my doorposts.
“For he who finds me finds life
And obtains favor from the Lord.
“But he who sins against me injures himself;
All those who hate me love death.”
~ vv. 32-36​

So, if we are lacking in wisdom, knowledge, discernment, discretion and good judgment about what is evil or about what is good, then where can we go to learn this? The answer is obvious. We must go to God/Jesus and to his Word. Yet, we must be open to hear what he says to our hearts, we must not resist him or deny him, and we must be willing to do whatever he says and his Word says we must do to walk in his holiness and righteousness, and to no longer live to satisfy the desires of our sinful flesh. We must confess all known sin in our lives and turn away from it, by God’s grace and in his power and strength within us. We will not know God’s will for our lives, and we will not live in victory if we persist in doing what is wrong, or if we refuse to repent and to own up to any known sin in our lives. As well, we must be willing to allow God to reveal to us any hidden sins which we may have suppressed or may have rationalized and justified and thus believed our own lies.

Yet, this kind of wisdom cannot be gained through a casual and occasional relationship with Jesus Christ. We must be in his Word daily, seeking his counsel, looking for his guidance, and longing to learn his Word and to apply it to our lives.

Do Your Best / An Original Work / November 7, 2011
Based off of 2 Timothy 2

Love You, Father, love You, Lord.
Be strong in the grace of Christ.
Endure hardship for your Lord.
Your commander, live to please.
You’ll receive the victor’s crown.
By the rules, run in the race.
Your Lord, you’ll see face to face.
Jesus Christ, raised from the dead;
Of your life, He is the head.
Endure all for the elect.

Love You, Father, love You, Lord.
If we died, we live with Him.
If we last, with Him we’ll reign.
If we disown Him today,
He will have to look away.
Even if we faithless be,
Faithful He’ll remain always.
He cannot disown Himself.
He’s our Lord and Savior, King.
He will reign o’er ev’rything.

Love You, Father, love You, Lord.
Do your best; present yourself
As one who’s approved by God.
Work as one who’s not ashamed;
Rightly share the Word of truth.
Wander not from what you know.
Destroy not the faith of some.
God’s foundation; it stands firm.
The Lord knows those who are His:
Those who turn from wickedness.

Love You, Father, love You, Lord.
In a house are wood and clay,
Gold and silver, all array.
Some are noble, some are bad -
Cleanse your life, and you’ll be glad;
Useful to the Master’s work.
A pure heart - in righteousness,
Pursue faith and love and peace.
Bad desires you want to flee.
Gentle servant you must be.