Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. Romans 1: 22
Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me…even secular wisdom cringes at repeat occurrences of "stupid". One symptom of childishness (which is only culpable when someone is no longer a child) is the vain pursuit of happiness in all the wrong places. That is why special care must be taken to keep children away from the edge of the river, from speeding traffic and from touching the hot stove. That's why teenagers and young people need to be informed about the unintended negative consequences of narcotics, drunk driving and casual sex.
All of these hazards carry with them tempting benefits to those who seek them out. Momentary pleasure, after all, is still pleasure. Conscious self-restraint makes it possible to avoid many of the pains and troubles of life because those who are instructed in the ways of the Lord and who understand the world in which they live and the spiritual laws of life are able to turn from temptation and choose wholesome and fulfilling pursuits that are good for them and their families.
In our day (and throughout history, according to Paul's epistle to the Romans) there have been men and women who know the truth, who understand the consequences of disobedience to God's commands and who consciously choose to ignore the facts. They pretend that the world is different than they know it to be. They wish it were different and so they act as if it were. "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." Romans 1:32
All over this world, in the great institutions of learning, in the halls of power and in the centre of business and media boardrooms are men and women who have chosen to ignore the wisdom and the warnings of God. They have chosen delusion. Knowing the health hazards of casual sex, they engage in it anyway, thinking they can avoid any consequences. Knowing that an unborn child is a little human being and knowing that it is wrong to take an innocent life, they do it anyway. Knowing that smoking and lack of exercise can shorten one's life they go on in that way, hoping to escape the consequences. Knowing the evidence that God created the world and therefore has all rights and dominion, they choose to consider themselves beyond His reach in a world in which they are masters of their own destinies.
The apostle Peter spoke of those who choose delusion as being "willingly ignorant". One modern writer paraphrased that in the slang of our day as being "dumb on purpose". As the Bible declares: "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." Proverbs 9:10
Let's not be like others who choose delusion. Let's choose the fear of the Lord and humbly claim the promised "beginning of wisdom".