This phrase “stuck on stupid” was made popular by a general who became a little perturbed from questions in a press conference that continued down a dead end. Think about it. That phrase really depicts how all of us fall into the trap of our own doing and fail to listen to good advice, particularly the advice of God from His word.
The Bible describes the way that man will turn from the testimony of Scripture and the coming judgment and deliberately overlook the facts of history concerning God’s judgments in the past.
2 Peter 3:3–6 (ESV) — 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
One translation says that they are “willfully ignorant.” We might also say that when a person turns away from the truth of God’s word and follow that course, they get “stuck on stupid.”
God has made known that the way to being righteous is by faith. To hold on to a system of making yourself righteous is being “stuck on stupid” because it not only is impossible it also is a denial of God’s righteousness that He gives by grace through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:1–4 (ESV) — 1 Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
Some people are “willingly ignorant” because they ignore the clear teaching of the scriptures as they try to work out their own righteousness before God. Don’t get “stuck on stupid.” Submit yourself to the righteousness of God by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sometimes, people just get “stuck on stupid” when they fall into temptation. An example is Samson and Delilah. You’ll find the account in Judges 16.
How sad as you see Samson is so stuck on this prostitute that when she seduces him to tell her his strength, particularly what would be his weakness, he gives into her and first toys with her. But each time she does the very thing he says and when she tells him the Philistines were upon him, he was able to break free. Whether it was the seven bowstrings, the new ropes, the weaving of seven locks of his hair, or the final way he succumbed to the temptation and told her about his Nazarite vow to God made evident through the lack of cutting his hair, somehow she was able to get him into a condition and she cut his hair. And look what happened next:
Judges 16:18–21 (ESV) — 18 When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “Come up again, for he has told me all his heart.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hands. 19 She made him sleep on her knees. And she called a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. 20 And she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” And he awoke from his sleep and said, “I will go out as at other times and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21 And the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes and brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles. And he ground at the mill in the prison.
Samson was so “stuck on stupid” that he didn’t realize what Delilah was up to and even worse, did not realize that the power of God had departed from him.
There is only one way to keep that from happening – live each day in total dependence upon God. But sometimes we don’t and that is when we are “stuck on stupid.” Just notice how it is described:
Psalm 81:10–12 (ESV) — 10 I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. 11 “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me. 12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.
God says when you push him away and refuse to listen to His counsel and live in dependence on Him, “go ahead and see how that works out for you.” Thankfully, God also prods us as we get “stuck on stupid” to come back to Him. More often than not that nudging is distress that our being “stuck on stupid” has brought us as a result.
Hosea 5:15–6:1 (ESV) — 15 I will return again to my place, until they acknowledge their guilt and seek my face, and in their distress earnestly seek me. 1 “Come, let us return to the Lord; for he has torn us, that he may heal us; he has struck us down, and he will bind us up.
Nevertheless, God is there to heal us and bind us up. May we pray to recognize times we are “willfully ignorant” of the counsel of Scripture and those God places in our lives and be willing to accept it and follow it to avoid getting “stuck on stupid.” This is how David prayed in Psalm 19:
Psalm 19:12–13 (ESV) — 12 Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults. 13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
The hidden faults are not hidden from God. He knows everything about us. They are hidden from us but light from the presence of God exposes our sin that we might confess, repent, and be restored. The presumptuous sins are those we know to be sin, yet we forge ahead and presume upon the grace of God for forgiveness. That is being “willfully ignorant” or “stuck on stupid” and that is exactly why David’s prayer is to be kept from presumptuous sins. May that be our prayer as well. But when we do get stuck on stupid, may we be open to the prompting of God to get us out and establish us in the right way of thinking and living.