If worldly wisdom is so destructive, why do people continue to build on worldly wisdom?

Those who build their life on worldly wisdom will experience a great loss. Destruction, disaster will come upon them when they least expect it. Your entire life will come crashing down if you have built your life on easily moved sand instead of the rock. The things of this world can promise us happiness, joy, pleasure, peace but those can be quickly taken. If the world is all that we have based our life on, we will experience disaster.

The Bible is clear, disaster will come for those who have built their life on worldly wisdom. However, people continue to build on worldly wisdom every day. Why?

Let me give you three reasons people continue to build on worldly wisdom even though disaster is coming for them.

(1) The ways of world are easier to come by.

Building on rock is hard work. In Luke’s account of this parable, we learn that a person didn’t just find a rock upon which to build, but they dug down through the hard dirt and built their house on the rock.

he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.” (Lk 6:48)

Digging down deep to build on the rock is not easy. It is much harder than building on sand or the ground. There is no time spent searching, no energy expended in digging down to the rock. It is much easier to build a house on the sand. In the same way it is easier to come by the world’s wisdom. All you have to do is turn on your TV, scroll through Facebook, listen to the radio, watch YouTube, look at the billboards as you drive down the highway. Our access to worldly wisdom is so much easier to come by than heavenly wisdom. You don’t have to be purposeful. All you have to do is soak up the messaging you are bombarded with every day all day.

(2) The ways of world promise greater immediate benefits

Think back to our building analogy once again. If you aren’t concerned with building on the rock, you can pretty much build anywhere. You can build close to a stream, which would make it easier to get water. You can build close to friends and family. Community is readily available without you having to travel anywhere. You can build close to your livestock, so you can more easily take care of them. Building on the sand allows you to build anywhere. It may seem beneficial at first. You may even get away with it for some time. But when the hard rain comes and flash floods occur, the house and life you have built are going to come crashing down.

The immediate benefits that worldly wisdom offers us is not worth it in the end. The good fortune that worldly wisdom seems to provide will eventually run out. The house you have built will eventually come crashing down. The short term benefits are not worth the long term disaster.

(3) The ways of the world may seem right because they are popular.

The vast majority of people are building their lives on worldly wisdom. Worldly wisdom is popular, so it must be the right course of action, right? Not only that but that which is popular leads to greater acceptance, it can lead to more opportunity, and a lot less persecution.

But what the world says is wise today, what it accepts today, what will afford you benefits and relationships today, might not be so tomorrow. We live in an ever changing world. Those people who were on the right side of history last year, may no longer be on it this year or the next. What is wise to the world today, may be foolish tomorrow.

For those reasons and more, people continue to build on worldly wisdom even though it will result in sure destruction. But Jesus is not calling you to follow worldly religion. He is calling you to follow Him. He is calling out to you like wisdom at the beginning of the book of Proverbs:

“Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice; at the head of the noisy streets she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks: “How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple? How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing and fools hate knowledge? If you turn at my reproof, behold, I will pour out my spirit to you; I will make my words known to you.” (Pr 1:20–23)

So how long? How long will you refuse to listen? How long will you ignore Jesus’ counsel to build your life on His wisdom — the Rock?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.” (Pr 1:7)

Will you be a fool? Will you despise wisdom and instruction? Will you follow the wisdom of the world? Will you build your house on the sand? Or will you build on the Rock, who Jesus Christ? The former results in sure destruction and judgment. The latter in eternal life. Will you be like the man who built his house on the sand? Or will you be like the one who built his house on the rock?

Why Shouldn’t We Love the World?

As a parent, one of the things you so badly want is for your kids to say their first word, then their first phrase, then their first sentence. Not only are those developmental milestones, but in one sense it makes life easier. If they are hungry, cold, sick, or tired, they can actually tell you instead of crying until you happen to figure out which one it is by trial error.

But in another sense, it can make life more difficult. I know I’m constantly getting onto my oldest son for picking on his brother. In fact, I had to stop writing this paragraph in order to talk with him about something he said to his younger brother.

Playing referee is not the only thing that makes life more difficult. As your kids’ progress in their understanding and speech, you get the inevitable “why” question. I’m not saying that asking why is always disrespectful or even a bad thing, it’s what helps us learn and grow in our knowledge and understanding of the world around us. While that’s true, it does make our lives more difficult because it means we have to give an answer for almost everything that happens. A lot of time, I just don’t have the answer, or at least I don’t have the answer to the fifth “why” in a row. It either doesn’t exist, or my knowledge of the subject has been exhausted.

Even though I don’t always have the answer, I try to provide what I can because knowing why is often the difference between doing or not doing something. At least that’s the case in my life. Take algebra for instance. I think not knowing why I needed algebra as an adult was one of the reasons I didn’t apply myself to the subject in high school.

Knowing why is a motivating factor in our lives. I know this, you know this, God knows this, and the writers of Scripture know this, which is why the Bible often tells us why we should or shouldn’t do something. That’s exactly what John is doing for us in today’s passage. He tells us why we shouldn’t love the world.

Why shouldn’t we love the world?

In verse 15 of 1 John chapter 2 we read,

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 Jn 2:15)

The first part of the verse represents the command. We are to take this command seriously because God, our Creator, Sustainer, and Lord is telling us not to do something through His inspired and inerrant Word.

Not only are we given a command, but we are also given a reason why we shouldn’t love the world.

I know you have probably seen those license plates or stickers that say: House Divided. Underneath that tag line you typically see the mascots of two rival football teams. In the South, where I grew up, the Georgia Bulldogs and the Florida Gators were big rivals. It wouldn’t be uncommon to see people driving around with one of those license plates on their car.

While that tag definitely represented a division, it wasn’t so strong of a division, at least in some families, that they couldn’t marry one another, live in the same house, or raise kids together. Sure, their hearts might be divided when it comes to football. And that division might even lead them to give each other a hard time when those two teams play each other. But that doesn’t mean they can’t love and care for one another.

That, however, is not the case when it comes to our love for God and the world. We can’t slap a tag on our car in fun that says Love Divided — God and World. Either God holds our heart in His hands or the world does. If we love the world, the love of the Father can’t be in us. So we shouldn’t love the world because it means we have divided hearts. As followers of Jesus, our hearts shouldn’t be divided. Instead, they should be fully given to Jesus and the things of God over the things of the world.

Question for Reflection

  1. Is your heart divided?

Resources

Post developed from my sermon Why shouldn’t we love the world?