Today’s scripture selection: Colossians 1-2
Key verse: Colossians 2:8
When I was in college I had a hard time deciding on a major. It was art one day; psychology the next; journalism the following week; sociology the one after that. Finally, I ended up studying religion.
Along the way – I was exposed to many ideas – some profound; some rather silly. But variety was the name of the game. And that was just fine by me.
Somewhere along life’s path, though, I have learned that not all ideas are worth seriously pursuing. In fact, some ideas are very dangerous indeed – at least if acted upon.
Maybe that’s one reason the apostle Paul had a stern warning for fellow believers:
“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”
Now, some of have used scripture passages like this one to make a case for what I would call “just plain ignorant’ thinking.” They won’t read a book to save their life – dumb and proud of it.
I don’t think that’s what Paul intended.
On the other hand, it’s a matter of priority – spiritual priority.
I think Paul was simply calling us, as intelligent – but faithful – beings to use both mind and heart wisely.
I think he was calling us to weigh what the world has to say to us, no matter how authoritarian the voice, and balance it against the truth of the living Christ.
We are not called to burn books or celebrate ignorance. We don’t have to quit reading the newspaper or surfing the internet.
But we should use some simple common sense, and a good dose of faith grounded in scripture, to weigh truth from fiction.
That’s how to stay away from hollow ideas – and draw close to the wonderful counsel of God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, open my eyes – and my mind – to the truth as revealed by you. AMEN.