Ed Welch on Foolishness


If you haven’t visited the CCEF website (Christian Counseling & Education Foundation) , I highly recommend you visit there on occasion. They post some excellent articles.

I found this article on Addictions by Ed Welch to be very helpful on many levels, not merely addictions. Ed shows how there are many factors that lead people to addictions and that at the root is a problem with the heart, not simply the body (eg. alcoholism, etc.). He shows here how foolishness demonstrates addictive behavior. I found this portion particularly insightful.

Foolishness
Another theme that overlaps with idolatry and adultery is foolishness. The entire book of Proverbs, which examines wisdom and folly, is must-reading, getting right to the heart of our daily struggles. There are two different paths: the way of wisdom and the way of folly. Folly is characterized by thoughtlessness and decisions to pursue a course that is briefly pleasurable but ultimately painful. Our natural inclination is this particular path.

The fool, although wise in his own eyes, acts in ways that are patently ridiculous. Some theologians talk about the “noetic affects of sin.” Noetic means that sin affects the way we think. Put bluntly, sin makes us stupid, not intellectually but morally.

They [idolaters] know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand…He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him. (Isa. 44:20)

The fool’s attention wanders, never focused on wisdom. He ignores all consequences. He is persuaded that his way is the right way, so there is no reason to listen to others. He thinks he will always get away with it, but he will be exposed. He goes with his feelings, not realizing that they can mislead. Of course, the fool feels the consequences of his behavior at times, and he might even have glimpses into how he has brought pain on others, but consequences are no deterrent. The destructive pattern is repeated because folly is enjoyed (Prov. 17:24; 9; 14:12; 28:26; 15:3; 14:8; 17:2; 27:22; 26:11).

As with idolatry, Scripture paints an unretouched picture, aiming to bring us back to our senses. It also promises that God will give grace to those who desire it so that they can leave their idols and take the path of wisdom. The triune God delights in giving wisdom to those who ask, and He gives it liberally.

Read the whole article here.

Also, this was a great line:

“…nothing short of a declaration of war will dislodge our favorite idols.

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