“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” Proverb 1:7 says. “And wisdom preserves the life of its owner.” (Ecclesiastes 7:12)
I know some people who are pretty smart…very smart, while some are brilliant. Looking like a teenager, many older folk like to give me advice, but to be honest, I really don’t want their advice. Looking over my life, I have made better decisions, not in my own strength, but because God has given me many things which sort me out.
For starters, He gave me His Word – everything I need for life and godliness. He gave me a good family and friends who taught me what is important: to live for God. What more do I need? Scriptures have helped me navigate life so beautifully and these constant reminders by people who live according to them keep me on course and help me see things as God wants me to see them.
But the wisdom of this world is not like the wisdom of God. To the world, God’s wisdom is weak. It does not stamp on humans, destroy things, nor is it selfish (but it does look out for #1). God’s wisdom stamps on what really matters – the Prince of this world – it builds instead of destroys. It builds relationships, wealth, nations and people. It puts others first.
Reading 1 Corinthians 2, I see Paul’s position. Coming to a city built on philosophies and wise sayings, Paul forsook eloquence in order to present the gospel that was not littered with religious rhetoric. He forgot everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified, so that he would not impress people, but reach them.
I thought about writing poetry. I have been gifted with the ability to coin phrases and play with words which may (or may not) blow your mind. I studied and listened and practised. But when it comes to getting messages across to touch hearts, God prefers His gospel to be devoid of human skill, lest anyone boasts; lest anyone becomes fascinated with lofty words and crafty word play, missing what is really important – Jesus Christ.
Fine words will always blow minds and impress people, but the heart cannot be impressed; only impressed upon. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. Some will never get it and the message of the cross, the weakness of wisdom, will forever be foolishness to them. But to others, to whom God has given his Spirit, it will be power and life.