November 7, 2019 | by: 0 Comments|
Lately there seems to be little place in our world for wisdom. Though technology and society (not to mention the environment, the economy, school systems, etc.) certainly present us with countless new challenges, problems and opportunities, you will (almost) never hear wisdom emphasized as a necessary or even helpful tool for living in such a complicated world. You could argue that we have never needed it more or promoted it less.
The same could be said specifically for those of us in the church. In the face of significant cultural change and rapid technological development, we without question have a great need for wisdom. We need the ability not only to identify right and wrong, but to navigate skillfully the myriad complications that result simply from trying to live and thrive as faithful people in a fallen world. We need wisdom - and we know it, yet I cannot help feeling that we often neglect much of the wisdom God has already provided.
And we should know better; God has not exactly been subtle about our need for wisdom to flourish in this world. God has not hidden wisdom away, kept it aside for a hidden few (as the gnostic heresy would claim), 4 entire books of the bible are given over entirely to wisdom (Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiates, Song of Songs). And above and beyond that, we are told that God - the source of all wisdom - gives it generously to all who ask (see Solomon). God wants us to be wise, and he has gone to some lengths to make that clear.
But maybe that only begs the question: why? Why does God want us to be wise? Isn’t it enough that we obey, that we do what is right?
First, we should note that there is no such thing as wisdom without obedience. We are told directly that, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” (Pr. 9:10). But God has called us to more than mere avoidance of sin, he has given us a mission and purpose in this world. To do that well, we will need to be obedient and wise. Jesus, as he sends out his own disciples says as much: "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves” (Mt. 10:16, obedience and wisdom). We know that we are called to love our neighbors and to proclaim the good news; wisdom helps us to do that skillfully in our particular context. And here too, Jesus provides the supreme example. Obedience? Certainly. With wisdom? Undoubtedly.
On Sundays Nov. 17 and 23 we will be offering an elective on Wisdom during both the 9:00 and 10:30 services. We will talk about wisdom generally (What is it? Where do we get it? How does it work?) and we will explore some examples from scripture. Finally, we will spend some significant time discussing how wisdom might be leveraged to helps us, individually and as the church, to better navigate some of the issues and opportunities facing us today. I hope to see you there!