True Wisdom (Day 7 of A Simple Lent)
One of the things I never understood about wisdom is that our word for wisdom is not the same as the word in the Bible.
Oh, it is wisdom all right. It just means something totally different.
When I think of wisdom, I think of D&D (Dungeons and Dragons). In D&D, you have two different attributes: Intelligence and Wisdom.
This is what we think in the real world, too. Intelligence is being book smart and wisdom is experiential smart. Or Intelligence is being smart because you went to school and Wisdom is being smart because you’ve seen what the streets are really like.
Being wise in 2016 means having your stuff together.
The ancient tradition of wisdom was not experiential at all. It is more like academic expertise. Gaining wisdom was found in the collecting of worldly resources: teachings and proverbs from other parts of the world.
Much of the wisdom literature in the Bible is proverbs: pithy sayings which reveal great truth. The funny thing about it, is that they are often contradictory truths.
When Solomon asked GOD for wisdom, he was asking to be super smart so that he could make the best decisions for his people. So it does sound a lot like Wisdom 2016. But what he did was collect literature from all over the world and memorized it. That sounds like Academic Intelligence 2016.
Wisdom is a tricky bird.
So when we get to Paul, he’s saying that there’s wisdom as the people know it and then there’s true wisdom, the wisdom GOD offers. It’s kind of like the wisdom that says we ought to be foolish, not smart, because the wisdom of the age is flat-out wrong.
There is so much conventional wisdom that is so not true. And certainly nothing like the true wisdom Paul is talking about.
And we get there, not through the wisdom of the age, but the wisdom of the Spirit. We don’t get it at fancy universities and interning with the powerful, but because GOD has a gift for you.
What wisdom is she bringing you?
Daily Office Readings
Or visit the alternative Daily Office I often use.
This week’s homework is to discern a priority and focus on it.
Download the worksheet: A Simple Lent – Handout 1!