Sometimes it seems that, in many circles, wisdom is no longer fashionable. We seem to care about who is dating who, or who is caught up in the latest scandal, or the latest drama from Washington or Tallahassee. But we seem to have little patience for developing wisdom and maturity.
I find it annoying when Christians are portrayed as fools. Granted, there certainly are Christians who qualify, but it should not be so. We do not eschew wisdom, we should be those who seek it fearlessly, regardless of where the search might take us. After all, “all truth is God’s truth” so we need not fear true wisdom.
The Old Testament Book of Proverbs is specifically addressed to encouraging growth in wisdom. It is impossible to date Proverbs as it is a collection of sayings rather than a single, coherent document, but the present form of the book probably dates from soon after the time of King Solomon (to whom the book is attributed), who reigned in the 10th century, BC. That means that this bit of wisdom has been around for three millennia or more.
The segment to be read this Sunday speaks of wisdom as having a life of its own, setting out a banquet and calling on the “simple” to come and eat, and to “put aside immaturity.” (Click here to read it.) The passage presents at least two truths for us. First, wisdom is to be sought with all the seriousness and devotion we would bring to pursuing food. We need the sustenance to feed our lives and it is as important to a healthy Christian life as a healthy diet. Second, when we give ourselves over to wisdom and maturity, it has its own life and we may be drawn to places that we did not choose.
In today’s world, wisdom needs to be sought out. The evening news will not bring it. Social media will not bring it. The latest “binge-worthy” TV series won’t either. Seek out good, thoughtful books, the Bible as well as others. Engage in intelligent conversation about challenging subjects. Work to understand the other’s point of view before dismissing it.
You may not float with the crowd, but you’ll be far more interesting, and far more useful to God!
This column appeared in the August 19, 2018 issue of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.