MM00071 Beware lest anyone cheat you
Mentoring Manna: Beware lest anyone cheat you!
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Colossians 2:8 “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” Have you ever had someone cheat you out of what rightfully belonged to you? It could have been a brother or sister who cheated you out of an inheritance, or a fellow employee who cheated you out of a raise. Sometimes we are cheated and have no knowledge that it has taken place. Imagine going to a jewelry shop to buy a diamond, only to find out that you were sold an imitation instead. No one likes to be cheated. However, it is possible to be cheated out of what is ours in Christ through the philosophies and traditions of man.
Philosophy is the love and search for wisdom. Webster goes on to define philosophy as the “theory or logical analysis of the principles underlying conduct, thought, knowledge, and the nature of the universe: included in philosophy are ethics, aesthetics, logic, epistemology, metaphysics, etc.”  People today are hungry for wisdom and knowledge, but they are seeking it apart from God. James 3:15-17 declares, “This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic…But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” God has given us His wisdom in the Scriptures so that we might have everything we need to be complete in Christ and thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
We are saturated today with books, recordings, television and radio programs, seminars, conferences, and the internet that can distract us from our focus on the Scriptures. Christians are overwhelmed by all of the latest self-help books, church growth strategies, fund raising methods, and corporate management techniques. While there are many aids that can help us, none should take priority over the Scriptures. If we are not careful, we can give in to the feeling that the best wisdom for our lives is found somewhere outside of the Scriptures. We can begin to gradually adopt worldly philosophies that undermine the truth and simplicity of Christ in our hearts. Through philosophy and traditions of man, we can be cheated out of a genuine simplicity of a relationship with Christ. Don’t let anyone cheat you through worldly wisdom. Stay in the Scriptures and cling to Christ. In Him you have everything you need!
Application: Have you ever fallen into the trap of reading book after book, going to seminar after seminar, conference after conference, watching program after program and still feel like you are coming up short in your walk with Christ? Many believers today are hindered from experiencing a living relationship with Christ as a result of the fog of ideas and philosophies that cloud their hearts and minds. By looking outside of the Bible for wisdom, many have adopted other ideas about God, truth, and morality that are completely contrary to Scripture. If the principles for our walk with Christ are not found in the Bible, we may be no better off than the Pharisees in Jesus’ day or the scoffers of this age that claim wisdom apart from God. In their “wisdom” they manage to miss Christ completely! Don’t be cheated by worldly or religious philosophy. Don’t let anyone sell you an imitation faith that lacks substance and reality. Don’t cheat yourself. Repent of any wisdom that is not from above. Then find a genuine relationship with Jesus through abiding daily in the wisdom of His word.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, forgive me for not making your word the highest source of wisdom in my life. Forgive me for allowing the philosophies of this world to creep into my thought processes and to cheat me out of a genuine relationship with You. I determine not to be cheated any longer. I determine to walk in the wisdom of Your word and to renounce any other wisdom that does not come from You. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
 Editors of the Webster’s New World College Dictionary, (Eds.), Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition,
IDG Books Worldwide, Inc., 1997.