You should not fool yourself. If any of you think that you are wise by this world’s standards, you should become a fool, in order to be really wise. For what this world considers to be wisdom is nonsense in God’s sight. As the scripture says, ‘God traps the wise in their cleverness’; and another scripture says, ‘The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are worthless’. No one, then, should boast about what human beings can do. (verses 18-21a)
Because we live in a world which prides itself in its wisdom, it’s easy to get caught up with the catchcries of the age: ‘Look after number one’; ‘survival of the fittest ‘; ‘seize the day’; ‘get them before they get you’; and, worst of all, ‘the Lord helps those who help themselves’. It’s easy to justify evils in the name of individual freedoms and rights. It’s easy to find something to blame so we’re not responsible for actions we are guilty of.
Scripture reminds us, ‘It is the Lord who gives wisdom: from him come knowledge and understanding’ (Proverbs 2:6). God’s wisdom sees people’s needs and acts to help them. God’s wisdom helps us to be less obsessed with our rights and to fight for the rights of others. God’s wisdom urges leadership which doesn’t lord it over others but leads by serving.
And God’s wisdom helps us to see how helpless we are without him, how much we can be and do with him. God’s wisdom is supremely seen in the cross, and it is expressed by Christians serving God as they serve each other.
Lord, help me to see you as the beginning and end of wisdom, so that I may truly serve you wisely. Amen.
by Bob Turnbull, in ‘New Strength for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 1998)
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