Most of us probably approach the subject of wisdom from only one angle.
We simply want to know what to do next. Let’s call this particular wisdom. Perhaps you are looking to buy a new car and you want to make the right choice. Or it could be a career decision or any number of current decisions.
For starters there is popular wisdom. In many ways this is not wisdom at all, but if we have bought into the surrounding culture’s mentality, we think we are wise. I’m not sure you want to pray for this type of wisdom.
Many have unknowingly bought into the flavor of the day. But anyone can go along with the crowd. Absalom was all style and no substance, which incidentally makes many politicians, celebrities, and sport’s stars our modern-day heroes. But Absalom proved to be deceptive, and he hurt a lot of people.
With that in mind let’s dig a little deeper. Perhaps a good place to start is to read and reflect on the two chapters mentioned above. Here’s the bottom line: We can be wise and unwise at the same time. Full of wisdom and devoid of wisdom at the same time. Seems paradoxical, but a very real reality.
There are four main characters in those chapters, and they all possess wisdom. Not all wisdom is used wisely or for positive reasons. Some actually use their wisdom in order to manipulate others. Sad, but true.
That in itself calls for wisdom.
We’ll come back in the next post to discuss the types of wisdom you need to pray for. Until then read and reflect upon the two chapters mentioned above.
Now we can talk.
In 1940 a film version of the book The Grapes of Wrath hit the big screen. The movie was about the downside of living during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. You might say that it portrayed American life in a bad light. Not the kind of film you wanted people around the world to see.
Yet it was prohibited from being shown in Russia. I thought Russian leaders wanted people to think that life in America was not all it was portrayed to be.
But there were problems for them in the film. Poor people had trucks and cars and were able to travel wherever they wanted. There was too much freedom in America, and Joseph Stalin couldn’t let that be known.
Did anyone question his true motives? The truth was poor people in America had it much better than those in Russia.
I’m not suggesting that we go around and question the motives of all. But do we really believe that all of our politicians have our best interests at heart? Or could it be more about getting the money and the votes they need to retain power.
In the Old Testament (2 Samuel 2-3) there is a fascinating story that illustrates this. Briefly, there was a civil war going on in Israel. A commander by the name of Abner was being chased by Asahel. Eventually Abner killed Asahel in self defense. Of course this did not sit well with his brother Joab.
As the civil war came to an end Abner and Joab became joint commanders. However, in a moment of deception Joab killed Abner, apparently to seek revenge for the killing of his brother Asahel.
That is the obvious reason, but is it the whole reason? I mentioned that both Abner and Joab were joint commanders. Prior to this you might say Joab was on the winning side, as King David was gaining more power.
Could there have also been an ulterior motive? What about envy? Was Joab more concerned about the death of his brother or his own personal power?
Now it’s getting personal. What were the real reasons I had to buy that new car, new clothes, or bigger house? Why did I offer to pay for everyone’s lunch? Why were the drinks on me?
Was it because I truly wanted to serve my friends, or did I do it for personal recognition and appreciation, or to close the next deal? Hurts to even think about it.
Does Joab still live on in me?