The worst feeling in the world is feeling stupid. I know because I’ve been there too many times for my liking. Math and chemistry come to mind and the Rubik’s cube my son got for Christmas. Not even my time online with “Fixing your Rubik’s Cube for Dummies” could help me. Ugh.
There is one area that I want to encourage you to focus on in the coming year. It is not your waistline, spending habits or being nicer to others (a usual resolution of a friend of mine, obviously not as successful as she would like to be each year). You need to become WISE. You need to resolve to learn more about God in 2017. Specifically, Jesus Christ.
Before we get deeper into this, let me give you some wonderful news right up front. It is found in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” When you seek to know God first and foremost, he takes care of the rest. He will provide for your needs and help you live a better life according to his Word. Could it be that you have gotten it backwards all these years?? Yes. Yes you have. Pursuing outside, worldly goals without first establishing your heart in Christ will always drive you further away from God and further away from happiness. Seek God first.
Now let’s dive in. You need to know Jesus in a personal way. No more depending on pastors, priests, deacons, parents, friends, or pretty Instagram quotes for your spiritual guidance and pseudo biblical knowledge. Time to stand on your own two feet, ladies. Time to be independent in your understanding of who Jesus is, what he has done and what that means to you personally. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.” Proverbs 9:10. Think of fearing God (understanding who he is and the power and authority he possesses over you) as the gateway into wisdom. In other words you cannot have wisdom without first knowing God. So get to know him or stay stupid (“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge,fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7b).
No friend, priest or pastor will be there with you when you go before God, no one to point to and say, “I believe in everything he/she does.” Nope, God will not ask if you know him, he will TELL you if you know him or not (more accurately, whether you are known by him or not). “And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” “And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 7:23 and 25:30. However, for those who have become wise through the irresistible grace of God, Jesus will be right there speaking to the Father on your behalf. “Yes, I know her, she is mine, I paid for her sins with my blood.” God will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant…Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21.
God is such a merciful God that he wrote all about himself using 40 different authors over a span of around 1500 years to give you a good picture of who he is. The book he wrote is the Bible and now is when you should begin reading it. Seek him (“You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13). Get to know Jesus right away in the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Now, listen closely to this part. If someone, ANYONE, tries to stop you from reading the Words of God (saying you won’t understand them, you might interpret them wrongly, the Bible is inaccurate, the Bible is incomplete without the extra papal writings, etc.). Tell them to GET LOST, away with that sort of medieval suppression! What they are keeping you from are the words of eternal life (take it from Peter when he said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” John 6:68). Women, think clearly here. Why in nearly every other area of your life will you declare that you are independent yet when it comes to the Bible you willingly hand over the reins, telling someone else to think for you? Knock it off! Pick up the Bible and read the book of Luke for goodness sake. Give the world your backside and run towards God.
Finding wisdom and awakening to who Christ is, is the most glorious, life-change anyone could ever dream of. Make 2017 different, make it the year you become wise… the year that changes every other year to come…forever.
End note: For any of you who are not sure where to start or maybe don’t even own a good bible, talk to me. Message me, call me, email me. I can provide both a bible and guidance. That is my passion and mission, to educate women in understanding the Bible and who Jesus is. There is nothing more important.
The word “stupid” is taboo in many households. I’ve heard more than a few moms refer to it as the “s-word”. This is understandable especially for those with young children who are unable to use it appropriately. Like referring to their little sister as stupid would certainly be wrong.
Having said this, the word “stupid” is allowed at our house. My children are older, but I also feel it can be a very accurate word for very specific circumstances. It is found in the Bible, twelve times in the ESV to be exact; all Old Testament, five times alone in Jeremiah. The Hebrew word translated “stupid” is “ba’ar”. Which means “stupid, brutish, like cattle” according to blueletterbible.org.
Often “stupid” in the Bible is used in reference to someone who does not accept God’s rule or wisdom. As in Proverbs 12:1, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” (this is where I first read it and found myself laughing out loud and being surprised at the bluntness) and Psalm 92:6-7, “The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever.”
I think it is an accurate description to call hating instruction from the Lord stupid. If someone hates to be corrected by the Creator of the Universe, the only one who is all-knowing and perfect, I think it can be a fitting adjective.
Now I don’t think we should go around calling the lost stupid, maybe foolish is a more gentle term and more social acceptable to an extent. But to live as an enemy of God seems plain stupid to me. This is blindness at its peak, designed by God in order that his seeing children may live in sharp contrast to the foolishness around them. It also allows those of us who used to walk in this same ignorance (all of us) to feel the joy of now having an understanding of the marvelousness of Jesus Christ.
Another way “stupid” is used in the Bible is in reference to those who worship idols instead of the Living God. Jeremiah 10:8, “They are both stupid and foolish; the instruction of idols is but wood!” and Jeremiah 10:14 (identical words in Jeremiah 51:17), “Every man is stupid and without knowledge; every goldsmith is put to shame by his idols, for his images are false, and there is no breath in them.”
Worshiping idols is stupid, period. Giving of yourself to an object, another person or an emotion instead of the God of gods and King of kings is unintelligent and utterly shameful. Do not trust a graven image, a statue, a job, money, a marriage or love of a child to save you. They are dead dust with no authority and certainly no eternally redemptive power. Worship God alone, only he is worthy.
Now “stupid” should be used sparingly and only when accurate and appropriate. Many times other words can be fitting, however, I feel there are certain times when “stupid” is dead on and just right.
So, Ladies, my advice to you today is simple: don’t be stupid. Seek God, be in the Word and love his knowledge, worship God alone and flee from idol worship in your life. Work at gaining wisdom for the glory of the King like instructed in 2 Peter 3:18, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”
Ladies, how does that sound to you? Receiving a new mind? You may find yourself saying, “Sign me up, this old one just isn’t cutting it anymore! It wanders, is easily confused and it can’t remember a thing!” Trust me, I understand where you are coming from.
Our minds can feel like a war-torn battlefield. Our thoughts compete against one another trying to direct our thinking or demand that they be displayed through emotions. At times we feel defeated by how our brains seem to work (or don’t work). When our thoughts turn to sad memories or past hurts it can affect our day, our week or our lifetime.
Does it have to be this way? Does God care about our minds and how they work? The resounding answer is “Yes!”
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind,” Romans 12:2. This often quoted verse is truly awesome, but did you catch the “renewal” part? We often think this verse refers to us changing as our mind slowly becomes new little by little. Our brains certainly do affect our actions and whether we behave like the World or like Christ. But are they really becoming new little by little, being partially old and partially new?
In Ezekiel 36:26 God states, “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” This is the eternity-altering, divine heart transplant we rejoice in as Christians. But when God claims you, do you think he simply gives you a new heart and leaves the old brain? Not a chance!
The heart of a person is the core of their being. God redeems their heart which then radiates to every single piece of them. Christ was a fully sufficient sacrifice to redeem all of us, not a partial sacrifice that only afforded a single organ. The Bible speaks to this in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” All the old is gone and what has come is all new.
So the “renewal of your mind” in Romans 12:2 has been accomplished. We are able to be transformed because our mind is made new through Christ. Just as your heart is no longer a slave to sin, neither is your mind, your intellect, your brain, or your thoughts.
This is exciting news to me. I too often get caught up in the mindset that my brain is what it is and that I must put up with the thoughts that I have and the emotions they produce. This is not true! That is why Paul says in 2 Corinthians 10:5, “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”. Command your thoughts to obey Christ through the power of Christ that resides with in you, specifically “the knowledge of God”.
Not allowing yourself to be a slave to your thoughts is something you need to practice. And yes, you will get better at it as you mature and gain increased knowledge of God (so pursue that). Your brain is new, bought and paid for, but like the rest of us, is still on this side of Heaven. We will not get to experience our fully perfect brain until the day we meet Jesus (I’m so happy I will be in my right mind at that moment!). We still must work at becoming smart, Christ-focused women who refuse to allow our minds to sucker us into our old thought habits.
When your mind begins to feel like a battlefield, realize that Christ won long ago and do not allow thoughts of defeat. Fill your mind with the weapon of His Word and grab ahold of the victory already given you by Jesus. Think as the new creation He has made you to be, new brain and all.