The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
(Jeremiah 17:9 ESV)
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes,
but the LORD weighs the spirit.
(Proverbs 16:2 ESV)
The problem of self-deception has been around from the beginning. With Eve’s first crunchy bite into the fruit, she determined in her own heart that eating the fruit was good. But when she came to her senses under the wisdom given to her by God, she knew that her heart had deceived her, so she fled.
Submitting oneself to the discretion of God’s wisdom is synonymous throughout Scripture with a desire for life. To seek wisdom is to seek life. To seek wisdom is to love one’s own soul. To seek wisdom is to hate evil and its self-destructive consequences. The shunning of wisdom brought about death into the world, and even afterwards, to rebel against wisdom shortens one’s life through the web of consequences which ensnares those who refuse it.
To seek the wisdom in God and not in ourselves is to hate evil (Proverbs 3:7). Human wisdom cannot be trusted because the heart is plagued with sin (Jeremiah 17:9). Therefore true wisdom is attained through fear of God with a humble spirit (Proverbs 15:33). To seek wisdom is to recognize that wisdom is found only in God, Who graciously gives to those that seek it (James 1:5).