Wisdom Under Fire
“Wisdom is the quality of discerning what is true, what is ethically right, and what should be done in different situations.” That is hard enough to do under normal circumstances – but how do we strive for wisdom in our decisions and choices when we are under fire from an unstable world around us?
That is something that many church leaders had to ask themselves during this past year. From pandemics to political unrest, from racial tension to border patrol, our country has been divided and on edge over many things. It is hard to find truth and unity when every platform – whether online or in a city street – is under fire from differing opinions and beliefs.
Those who are trying to discern what is true without bringing a spiritual perspective into the equation are missing a huge part of the truth.
It is hard to determine what is true when we are just looking at what is in front of us in this world. Those who are trying to discern what is true without bringing a spiritual perspective into the equation are missing a huge part of the truth. James 3 tells us that wisdom from above is first of all pure. Unless you are bringing God into the picture you are not really getting wisdom. Wisdom results in humility. When you spend time with God you remember you are not him..
“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” James 3:17
I am reminded of the Biblical story of Daniel during this season we are in as a country. Daniel was taken away from his home and brought into a land that was far removed from the God he knew and served. His name was changed, he was forced to learn the language and history of Babylon and to live under the rules and regulations that were at times in conflict with his beliefs. He lived out the rest of his life among a foreign people, and he did so with wisdom and discernment.
Daniel did not let his beliefs get watered down by the world surrounding him, and he also didn’t strike out against the ruling authorities in anger and with conflict. In fact, he prayed for the rulers and leaders of the country he was in, and served them with love! What a stark contrast to the ways we see some of God’s followers act out when they disagree with political issues and the views of leaders.
In a sense disciples are like Daniel in the world today. We are in a culture that doesn’t share the same belief system as our homeland (Heaven). Peter reminds us that as children of God, we are foreigners in this world we live in.
“Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” 1 Peter 2:11
In a world that sometimes seems crazy, can pull us left and right and get us distracted and discouraged, we need to keep our eyes on the big picture. The big picture is that as Christians we are God’s people, His holy nation, His royal priesthood. And as such we declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. We are to be a people that praise God and give God glory and reveal to others what God can do in and through people in a world that is sometimes under fire.
God’s Holy Spirit living within us can show the rest of the world how to love well. How to relate well. It takes the wisdom and humility that comes from God to give us the insight and the understanding to not get caught up in the things of this world. God’s wisdom is the thing that enables us to rise above the noise and distractions and keep our focus on the things that matter to God.
When we do this, when we love others who have different opinions and different preferences, and when we don’t fight like the devil for the things of God, we will actually be the light we are supposed to be that draws all people to Jesus.
The post by Jim Putman first appeared here. Used with permission.