Wisdom versus Foolishness
Living Controlled by Fear versus Recklessness
Unapologetically Uncompromising versus Arrogant, Prideful, and Religious
When you write it out, it seems that it should be easy to choose, in every instance, the first rather than the second. But reality is often very different, and we have to go deeper than just the surface to figure which is happening. Not just with those around us but in our own hearts.
To some wisdom can look like fear and we can tout faith when we’re really being reckless. On the flip side, I think we can be so controlled by fear that reasonable and wise actions and choices don’t stand a chance. Refusal to waiver on biblical truths can seem, especially to those on the outside, to be hateful and unaccepting while other times we are so arrogant and prideful in presenting our beliefs that we forget to be led by love. We forget the end goal isn’t being right but bringing others to Christ.
No where in the bible does God tell us to abandon all wisdom in the name of trusting Him. We don’t jump off a cliff without a parachute just for sake of jumping off a cliff. God has given us functioning brains and the ability to seek, through prayer, reading His word, and yes, sometimes research and common sense, what is wise and good for us in every situation. That’s not to say we never take risks. There are going to be times that we must take risks and step out in faith, but taking risks without first seeking God’s wisdom is foolishness.
We must be uncompromising and unmoved on solid biblical beliefs. It’s a well known fact that is a non negotiable to me. But . . . we must also lead in love and with love knowing that we are first called to bring others to Christ . . . not to promote our own sense of self worth. If we are sacrificing our witness at the altar of “winning” the argument, we’re missing the whole reason Jesus came and gave His life.
I often hear people talking about Jesus throwing out the money changers (Matthew 21:12-13), but I think we need to remember where He was. He was in the temple. He wasn’t flipping tables on the street . . . although, He certainly could’ve. He was flipping tables in the temple. That’s not to say Jesus was ever soft on sin. He never compromised, but He was also full of grace. He was full of compassion and love. From the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11) to the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42) and beyond. He didn’t deny their sins or refuse to acknowledge them. He addressed their sins directly. He was honest, straightforward, and also filled with compassion and love. And the thing was often the hardest on? Religiosity. Pride. The belief and attitude that somehow they . . . the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-27) who thought he had done it all right . . . were good enough. He was hard on them because I think there is nothing more dangerous than thinking you’re good at following God’s word without the enabling and leading of the Holy Spirit . . . in thinking you can actually do it on your own. The truth is none of us are ever going to measure up, and it’s only by the grace of God through the blood of Christ that we are made “good” enough.
John 3:16 tells us that “God so loved the world . . .”. That’s the whole, wide world. Jesus wanted to see the sinner saved first and foremost. I often wonder, if that’s really what we want as well. Do we really want others to come to Christ? To be redeemed, delivered, and set free? Or would we rather them get what they deserve . . . what we, if we’re being honest, all deserve?
This or That
The choice isn’t nearly as easy to make as it seems.
Rather I’d say . . . we must remember that faith and wisdom are not mutually exclusive, and loving others well and standing firm on a biblical foundation are completely complementary. And pride, arrogance, and religious spirits have no place in the body of Christ or our hearts.
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