Why I’m Giving up on Understanding

by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey

It’s a new year, which means everyone gets a fresh dose of hope, and bad habits get a do-over. We call these ‘resolutions.’ I usually stay off that bandwagon, but this year I do have something I want to change. The habit of depending on my own understanding.

Proverbs 3:5 tells us to “Trust in the Lord will all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding…” I have been looking at that verse a lot lately. I think God is telling us there are two approaches to life, trusting Him or trying to figure things out on our own. That’s funny because our culture values human intellect, but the Bible does not.

The Bible stresses the importance of Godly wisdom (Proverbs 2:2-6), and I believe Godly wisdom is the opposite of my wisdom. In fact, Proverbs 3:7 even tells us “don’t be wise in your own eyes.” My translation, quit trying to be so smart about everything. The truth is until we start seeing things the way God sees things, we are way more of a smarty-pants than a brainiac.

I don’t believe God wants us to be idiots, but He does want us to anchor our lives on Him, and to see people and situations the way He does. Why? Because doing life based on our intellect is the express ticket to stress and anxiety. It also makes us cranky and limits the power of God in our lives, because He partners with our faith to move our mountains. When we try to figure out all of the logistics of our mountain, we are nowhere near faith.

If you don’t believe me think back to the last problem you were stressing over. Did you spend a lot of time turning it around in your head? Were you thinking about all the ‘what if’s’ that never happened, and all the possible solutions to that problem. How did that work out for you? If you are anything like me all you gained was 10 lbs from stress eating and a lot of sleepless nights.

Trusting the Lord is the cure, our own understanding is the illness. Why else would the Bible talk about “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). Sounds to me like trusting God and peace are in the same camp. Here is another one, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isaiah 26:3). A mind fixed on God is not fixed on problems. The result? Peace.

Then, when we are in trust, we are ready for His path, which is always a good life choice. Here is Proverbs 3:5-7 in its full glory: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” There you have it, my focal verses for 2018. Less of my understanding, more of Him. No more being a smarty-pants, I want Godly wisdom. Care to join me?