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  • Eric Kampmann

Cleverness Without Compass

As you do not know the path of the wind,

or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,

so you cannot understand the work of God,

the Maker of all things.

—Ecclesiastes 11:5


Wisdom is often thought of as a product of the intellect. If we can only come to know enough, we are told, then we will become wise. But often mere intellect is cleverness without compass. God did not call us to love Him only with our minds; He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).


To know God intellectually leads to futility because the mind can analyze and compute, but it cannot love. If we think of God only as an aspect of our theology, we are already in opposition to God’s greatest commandment. God commanded us to love Him; He did not command us to think about loving Him. In Biblical Psychology, Oswald Chambers wrote, “The reason people disbelieve God is not because they do not understand with their heads—we understand very few things with our heads—but because they have turned their hearts in another direction.” Man’s pride may be seated in his intellectual prowess, but his righteousness grows out of a true, faithful, and loving heart.


—Eric Kampmann, Signposts

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