Wisdom

Wisdom shouts in the streets.  She cries out in the public square.  She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate:  How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded?  How long will you mockers relish your mocking?  How long will you fools hate knowledge?  Come and listen to my counsel.  I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise.
This passage of Proverbs (1:20-23) has always drawn my interest. Wisdom here is personified as a wise woman who does not direct her listeners away from relationships, but puts them in the heart of community. The NIV puts it this way: “As a young man confronts life in its social context; two voices lure him, appeal for his allegiance, and seek to shape his life: (1) the voice of wisdom (as exemplified in the teacher’s of wisdom) and (2) the voice of folly (as exemplified in the sinners of v10-14 & in the adulteress of 5:3, 6:24, 7:5).  Thus in the midst of life the youth must learn to exercise discretion. Here and in ch 8 & 9 wisdom makes her appeal.  She speaks neither out of heaven (by special revelation, as do the prophets) nor out of the earth (through voices from the dead….), but out of the center of the life of the city, where man’s communal experience of the creation order (established by God’s wisdom 8:22-31) is concentrated.  And it is there also that the godly, the truly wise, test human experience in the crucible of faith and afterward give divine wisdom a human voice in their wise instructions – as in Proverbs.” NIV notes
Listening and observing this past election and the past 14 days that the 45th President has been in office I am reminded of this passage.  We are not meant to run from the city gates, our communities, our relationships but we are to engage but not just any way you and I feel.  Paul Tripp says this about wisdom:
“You can’t buy wisdom. You can’t get it by hard work or lots of experience. No, wisdom is  the result of rescue and relationship. To be wise, you first need to be rescued from you. You need to be given a new heart, one that is needy, humble, seeking, and ready to get from above what you can’t find on earth.  And then you need to be brought into a relationship with the One who is wisdom.  Colossians 2:3 says of Jesus, “in (him) are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” Think of this: grace has connected you to the One who is wisdom.  Grace has caused wisdom to live inside you.  This means that wisdom is always available to you.”
When Christians, you and I are arguing with each other on social media,  at school, at work, and in front of our children, we are forgetting the wisdom that lives inside us. We are drawn into being simple the Bible says. It means we are open to evil, unrighteous anger, and we behave in a way that others who differ are beneath us, and we become self-confident and fools – sin reduces you and I to fools. We forget we have been rescued. We forget that through grace we are in a relationship where Christ has poured out His spirit and He has made His words known to us and in us. Wisdom directs us; redirects us, protects, and matures us. You and I need to reflect on what is being revealed about our hearts in these occasions of divisions in our culture.   We don’t have to  air our opinions, or respond to every comment against our opinion, and we don’t have to become simple, scoffing, fools to wisely engage in our cities, communities and social media realms. We don’t need to be reactionarily, and emotionally swayed by media, masses, and marches of voices.  Dear Children of the Living God, may I gently remind you and I that we have wisdom and are called to demonstrate to our children and those who do not know the love and wisdom of Jesus that wisdom that is first and foremost from God, so that ALL may come to experience the rescue and relationship of the One who is all wisdom and knowledge.  His presence should be reflected in each of us as we live out our days in thought, word and deed, in communities with others both, Non-believers and Believers.  We can demonstrate that wisdom as we wisely  choose to not engage or to engage with others demonstrating the new hearts we have been given with  grace and truth as Christ modeled not like the world models.  As Paul says:
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”Rom 12:2
How have you modeled Christ this week to those around you? And on social media?
Where have you been angry?  Who have you been angry towards and how did you respond?
Do your words reveal a willingness to serve others, or do they reflect an entitled attitude to be served, to be right, to win?
What thoughts, words, actions that you spoke in the past week do you need to confess and ask forgiveness for?  Be specific.

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