Don't Be Stupid

By definition, stupidity is the quality of lacking intelligence, perception, or understanding.  It is not merely ignorance or a lack of knowledge, but rather it is an inability to make sense of knowledge.  Stupidity is a characteristic of animals, for they, unlike man, cannot understand purpose and meaning.  A stupid animal cannot reason or make sense of its experiences and surroundings, but instead it simply acts on instincts or repetitious training.  Even the relatively intelligent animals will always be stupid, for they will never understand the world around them, the past, the future, or the unseen.

God did not make man to be stupid.  He created man to be different from the stupid animals, for He made man in His own image and gave man dominion over the animals (Gen. 1:26-27).  In His own likeness, God gave man the ability to think, be creative, communicate in words, and even perceive of things unseen.  Stupidity does not resemble the image of God in any way, and if man ever behaves in a stupid way, then he defies the design of his own creation.

So then, why do some people behave stupidly?  That is, why do some people make decisions and act in ways that contradict understanding and knowledge?  Why do some people make choices that are self-destructive?  Why have all of us acted stupidly, made stupid choices, and used bad judgment from time to time?  God never intended these things for man, so why have all people chosen stupidity at times?

The Scriptures have the answer to these questions.  Notice the following passages:

  • The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever. (Ps. 111:10)
  • The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov. 1:7)
  • The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (Prov. 9:10)

Men and women who lack the fear of God make themselves stupid.  Because they reject the fear of God and the knowledge of God along with the wisdom and instruction of His word, they choose to be stupid.  Whereas those who have good understanding do Godís commandments, those who choose to be stupid violate Godís commandments, which were given for manís own good.

Verse after verse of Scripture declares the stupidity of those who do not know God.  Notice a few of these:

  • Surely I am more stupid than any man, and I do not have the understanding of a man.  Neither have I learned wisdom, nor do I have the knowledge of the Holy One. (Prov. 30:2-3)
  • Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; for the LORD speaks, "Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me.  An ox knows its owner, and a donkey its masterís manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.Ē (Isa. 1:2-3)
  • "For My people are foolish, they know Me not; they are stupid children and have no understanding.  They are shrewd to do evil, but to do good they do not know.Ē (Jer. 4:22)

For those who reject God and choose to be stupid, there will be severe consequences.  Whereas the stupidity of animals is natural, the stupidity of man is a willful, defiant choice that requires correction.  Notice the admonition to follow Godís ways in Psalm 32:8-10:

I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you.  Do not be as the horse or as the mule which have no understanding, whose trappings include bit and bridle to hold them in check, otherwise they will not come near to you.  Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but he who trusts in the LORD, lovingkindness shall surround him.

Those who will not submit willfully to Godís rule make themselves like the stupid horse or mule, for they require force to control them and hold them in check.  They destine themselves for slavery to their own stupid choices.  Ultimately, they destine themselves for destruction, for God will give them over to their stupid ways that they might be judged and destroyed.  Notice Psalm 92:6-8:

A senseless man has no knowledge, nor does a stupid man understand this: that when the wicked sprouted up like grass and all who did iniquity flourished, it was only that they might be destroyed forevermore.  But You, O LORD, are on high forever.

Therefore, donít be stupid.  Choose the knowledge of God, the understanding and wisdom of His word, and the keeping of His commandments.  Respect the image of God in which you were made, and use the abilities God gave to you for His glory.  This is wisdom, understanding, knowledge, intelligence, reason, and sense.  Do these things, and you will never make stupid choices that harm you and others.

Stacey E. Durham


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