On Wisdom – May 15, 2023 (140-141/365)

Before anything else I’d like to apologize for the trainwreck that was yesterday’s post. Sure, it wasn’t necessarily a swamp of toxic waste but what I’m trying to say is that it could have been so much better.

On the other hand, I thank you, especially if you had to go through all of it until the very end. Thank you, because although it was in many ways a disaster, it still felt good to get said toxic waste out of my mind, and onto – well, somewhere. I only pray that it wasn’t the poisonous sludge, but more of the miniscule, trace amounts of positivity and grace that left a lasting impression on you.

Also, I just have to say – it’s a good thing to have a good keyboard. I was struggling with my so-called state of the art mechanical keyboard for the past weeks now. I’m not sure if it was my doing, but all of a sudden you’d find yourself being significantly bothered and interrupted as you tried to compose even the most simplest of captions. See, when you try typing the letter P, for some reason the keyboard also presses the numpad plus sign at the same time, so you get ‘p+’ instead of just the letter. When you try typing the number 0, it comes out as 0-. Typing a period also automatically takes you to the next line of the document – or, if you’re chatting, you automatically send your message when you end it with a period. And if you didn’t think that was too bad, when you press F or V, whatever you have playing on the background – no matter if it’s media on the browser, Spotify, Rave or VLC – there’s a high chance that it pauses without you asking it to.

As a solution I thought I’d get a more… generic keyboard to use while trying to fix the nicer looking but busted clickety-clack one I had. But now that I have this installed, and now that I see that I’m able to type again with far less interruptions, well, this ‘backup’ keyboard is slowly making its way to be my permanent keyboard.

If it’s under your control to dodge interferences or disturbances, you would do well to address them. But given the fallen and therefore chaotic nature of this reality, we need to understand as soon as possible that interruptions will always happen – and it’s not a question of if we’re able to avoid them, but it’ll always boil down to how we handle them when they do come.

And as in everything else, I do believe that a certain degree of wisdom is needed for us to not only stay in control when things can rattle us in such a way, but to take the unforeseen and to use it to our advantage.

Just recently my routine was interrupted by members of my team who I assumed were going on with their daily lives, especially on a Monday. Apparently, there were some discrepancies in reporting observed amounts versus the actual sum forwarded (you can tell I’m trying as much as I can to obfuscate without trying to sound too technical, and if you’re seeing through the words, well, good on you), and long story short, we’ve needed to update our own standard operating procedures to ensure a dramatic decrease in the chances of said situation ever happening again. But here’s the thing – that’s the best you can get, is a decrease in the chances – it’s not a total certainty that it would never happen again.

That right there is how we ought to see said SOPs – two things: (1) At best you’re only decreasing your margin of error, and (2) they are most likely updated only as we move, and as things happen to us, or as we make things happen.

Again, it’s not SOPs, but solid wisdom that we need. It’s wisdom that we have when we have nothing, or when we know nothing. In the aforementioned example, you can say that it’s wisdom that had us think of updating our SOPs; It’s wisdom that kept us from acting the victim and playing the blame game. It’s wisdom that allowed us not only to take control, but even, to thrive.

It was wisdom that we talked about yesterday. On top of having the benefit of thoroughly keeping and therefore enjoying the blessings you do receive from the Lord, the Apostle Paul also mentions that if we want to be wise, we would also do well to honor our parents. And just so we’re accommodating our Mothers on the day we celebrate them and the idea of motherhood, we said: If we, as children, desire to be wise, we would do well to honor our mothers.

And here’s where we found out a potential connection between honor and wisdom – that is, if you honor someone, you’re also automatically finding out the wisdom behind who they are and what they do. Consequently, when you go beyond your own prejudices, and/or you go beyond the impressions you or other people have of a person, this is counted as honoring him or her.

As I was going through today’s Proverb, I couldn’t help but notice the following verses:

The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly,

But the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness. (15:2)

The lips of the wise disperse knowledge,

But the heart of the fool does not do so. (15:7)

Now I’m not so sure; I probably wrote about this in the past. I do remember making the observation of how in verse 2, the speech of the fool and the wise are mentioned, while in verse 7, it’s the heart of the fool that is compared to the lips of the wise. Yeah, I did say something about how the heart and the mouth (lips, tongue) are connected beyond conventional observations – it’s in line with when we say the mouth speaks out of the overflow of the heart.

Anyway, as we were coming from talking about honor, and eventually talking about wisdom, these two verses resonated with me again. Perhaps, in a similar way as before, but I will make an observation here – Wisdom is obviously connected to knowledge in that the wise know how to use it right – and it’s not without dispersing it, by way of teaching. In other words, the wise know that the way to use knowledge right is to disperse it, and not to keep it for themselves.

Take this and look at the plight of the fool – not only does their heart go against the dispersal of knowledge, but it its place, they ‘pour forth foolishness’; And foolishness in this regard, goes against knowledge. Like the concept of matter and anti-matter, foolishness can be observed as NOT (binary NOT) knowledge, or anti-knowledge.

Leadership is not without the opportunity of dealing with people whom we or others may call fools at first glance. The moment we hear what they have to say, it comes off as anti-knowledge or foolishness to us – but in each and every one of these circumstances, I think that we would do very well to honor said people – not necessarily by calling them friends, nor by ignoring or tolerating their behavior, but perhaps by going beyond these presumptions and trying, with great love and humility as Christ would give us as He is in us, to see the knowledge behind their words.

I mean, the mere fact that they aren’t built as we are ought to have us, actually, more interested in what they have to say, at least in the name of enhancing our own perspective of things with theirs… And to be honest, as the faces and names of these so-called ‘fools’ pop into my head as I write about all this, I’m definitely taking this as a lesson to me more than it is for any one of you who happens to be reading this (and again, if you’ve made it this far, thank you and may God bless you with exponential amounts of quality time).

Now, it looks like I’ve been taken for a ride here. Nowhere in any of the Bible translations I’ve pulled up on Google does it say anything about how children get wisdom from honoring their parents. I pulled that particular ‘translation’ from a website listing so-called Bible verses for Mothers (or Mother’s Day) and sadly, the author didn’t even think to indicate which translation she pulled it from. And – shocker – even The Message translation, which I had the unfortunate experience of reading far into before finding out the audacity of its ‘translators’ to be so flippant in their interpretations – even that translation CLEARLY points out that Paul says that children ought to obey their parents, for this is the right thing to do.

Sad, right? Here I’m taking in a quick lesson of double checking my sources. And I’m sorry to you, and to my congregation yesterday for even pulling it up…

…but isn’t that a nice way of seeing honor and wisdom, though? You honor someone by going beyond calling them stupid, and trying to derive the wisdom behind their words and movement? Consequently, isn’t it nice to think that you could practice and develop wisdom by way of honoring others? I don’t think it’s an accident. God, forgive me for misquoting a verse, but I’m glad that even in this instance you demonstrate your faithfulness by way of causing even this to work for the good of the body of Christ.

Anyway in closing, I guess all I want to say here is that it’s wisdom that has us ready, no matter what happens. It’s the wisdom we have in Christ primarily, which could or could not have come from the said ‘sources’ we’ve just discussed, whether from the Proverbs or from Paul’s words to the Ephesians – It’s the wisdom we have in Christ that has us more prone to respond with peace, instead of merely reacting from instinct.

And I dare say, though the links between honor and wisdom may be questionable, the connection of wisdom and God is unequivocal for us in the body of Christ. Beyond the Scripture we’ve already pulled up, we go to the words of James:

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.James 1:5-8

From this point I’m led to read up on Proverbs 2, which not only goes to lengths to explain that it’s the Lord who is the first and foremost source of wisdom, but also gives additional elaboration regarding how we benefit from it. And in light of what I’ve been experiencing for the past 3 weeks, I suppose I’m going to be getting something from the said chapter, for us to come together and share on in the next coming weeks.

Yes, that’s still bothering me, considering everything else that’s going on. It just feels good to at least have a theme in mind, so that even if I don’t find anyone to delegate the task of preaching to, I’m at least ready with an overall theme, and a title. I pray that this is wisdom.

At any rate, this is good. I mean, I finished a good set of words today. It could have been done earlier, but I’m just glad I finished this, and not just to say I typed something, but I actually got something from this.

I’m ready to disperse some knowledge. And the cooperative keyboard? Well, it’s a nice bonus.

Until the next post coming soon, God bless you.

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