Men, Self-Reliance, and the Danger of Wisdom Without God

God visited Solomon in a dream and invited him to ask for something.

“Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon could have selfishly asked for wealth or long life or death to his enemies. But instead, he asked for the ability to govern his people well and distinguish between right and wrong.

He asked for wisdom and knowledge.

God was pleased with his request, so He granted it, and Solomon began his journey of success. He hired people to help him govern, he kept God’s people fed, and he built God’s temple.

As Solomon aged, though, he turned away from God’s truth. Solomon relied on his own knowledge and ignored God’s warning. He worshipped the gods of his wives and even offered sacrifices to them, separating him from the Lord.  

“Although he had forbidden Solomon to follow other gods, Solomon did not keep the Lord’s command.”

1 Kings 11:10

Solomon had spent his entire life following God. He had been directly visited by God twice, but he still turned his heart toward dead idols and turned his back on God.

As a result of Solomon’s disobedience, God took his kingdom from him.

“Since this is your attitude and you have not kept my covenant and my decrees, which I commanded you, I will most certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your subordinates.”

1 Kings 11:11

 How did Solomon’s life change so quickly?

Solomon still had the same amount of wisdom and knowledge but He failed to continue following God. He relied solely on his own wisdom without regard to God’s truth and it cost him everything.

Satan tempted Jesus to do the same. He offered to give Jesus earthly authority over the world if Jesus would just worship him, but unlike Solomon, Jesus obeyed the will of the Father.

“It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”

Luke 4:8

 Jesus recognized that God’s truth must always guide our decisions.

Although it is good for us to pursue wisdom and knowledge, God designed us to be scholars who would use our abilities for the good of others and for the glory of His kingdom.

Like Solomon, we find ourselves in trouble when we twist knowledge and understanding into philosophies that are out of sync with God’s word. When we chase knowledge and forget the truth, our search for wisdom becomes foolishness.

For many men, knowledge without God evolves into self-reliance.

·      We don’t want to stop and ask for directions.

·      We don’t want to admit there are things we don’t know.

·      We don’t think we need or want to need anyone else.

We rely on our own understanding and we trust in our own knowledge, forgetting that our knowledge is incomplete without God.

In what areas of your life have you strayed from God’s truth? They’ll be recognizable because they’re the parts of your life you don’t share with your Christian brothers. They’re the places where your wisdom and God’s teaching diverge, and you’ve chosen to do things your way.

The men of Junto Tribe understand these struggles because we’ve battled them in our own lives. We aren’t out of the woods ourselves, but we have surrounded ourselves with a tribe of men who keep us accountable to God’s truth and who seek accountability in their own lives.  

Join us on the journey.

Ultimately, each of us must decide: Are we relying on ourselves or on God?


Photo by Elijah Hail on Unsplash