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  • Writer's pictureMichael Orange

We Make it Hard When We Lean on Our Own Understanding

In our daily lives, we often find ourselves grappling with decisions, uncertainties, and challenges. As human beings, we are naturally inclined to rely on our intellect and understanding to navigate these complexities. However, Scripture warns us against this inclination. Proverbs 3:5-6 states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall  direct your paths.” This passage encapsulates a profound truth: relying solely on our own understanding can lead us astray, while trusting in Jesus brings clarity and guidance.


When we lean on our own understanding, we often encounter confusion and  frustration. Our           perspective is limited, and our judgments are clouded by biases, fears, and incomplete information. We might think we know what is best for us, but our human wisdom is finite and fallible. This can result in making decisions that lead to unintended consequences or missed opportunities for growth and fulfillment.


For example, consider the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). They leaned on their own understanding and desired to be like God, knowing good and evil. Their decision, influenced by the serpent's deceit, led to their downfall and separation from God. This narrative highlights the   dangers of trusting our judgment over God's divine wisdom.


On the other hand, when we place our trust in Jesus and seek His guidance, we open ourselves to His infinite wisdom and love. Jesus, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6), offers us a path that leads to true peace and fulfillment. His understanding is perfect, and His plans for us are rooted in His deep love and desire for our ultimate good.


In the Gospels, we see numerous examples of individuals who experienced transformation and clarity when they chose to trust in Jesus. The story of Peter walking on water (Matthew 14:22-33) is particularly instructive. When Peter fixed his eyes on Jesus, he was able to walk on water, defying natural laws. However, when he shifted his focus to the wind and waves, relying on his understanding of the situation's danger, he began to sink. Jesus’ gentle rebuke, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” serves as a reminder that our faith in Him is what sustains us.


In our contemporary lives, trusting in Jesus means surrendering our plans and desires to Him. It involves daily prayer, seeking His will in Scripture, and being attentive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. It means acknowledging that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).


This trust is not passive; it requires active discernment and humility. It calls for a willingness to let go of control and to accept that God’s plan may differ from our own. This can be challenging, especially when we face trials and uncertainties. However, Jesus assures us that when we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, all these things will be given to us as well (Matthew 6:33).


When we lean on our own understanding, we limit ourselves to human wisdom’s narrow and often flawed perspective. By contrast, trusting in Jesus opens us to the boundless possibilities of His divine    wisdom and love. Let us, therefore, strive to place our trust in Him, acknowledging Him in all our ways, and allowing Him to direct our paths. In doing so, we will find true peace, clarity, and fulfillment in  our lives.



Deacon Mike



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