How Wise Are We?
(19) For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight. As it is written: “He catches the wise in their craftiness”; (20) and again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:19-20
When Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, he dealt with problems on every page of the book. How troublesome that must have been for him to have to deal with those kinds of things with such intensity while his work in the rest of the region was so overwhelmingly critical.
Because Corinth was pagan territory, their problems were especially fueled more. They lived in a society where the Romans had adopted the same philosophies of Greece, who was the world power before them.
Many of us have studied, at least some, the philosophy of Greece. One of the big boy “buzz words” was wisdom. So, to be “wise”, was a big deal in the culture and Corinth and other Gentile territory.
Paul will use this theme much in the book. They were so troubled, acting in ways that would not even be recognizable to one truly living in Christ.
His basic question arises as, “If you are so wise, why are you allowing or doing this?” This is most easily and clearly seen in chapter five when he challenges their wisdom of allowing one of the brothers to live with “his father’s wife.”
Well, you come to the point that you might want to ask of yourself or maybe, of ourselves, “How Wise Are We?”
If we have the wisdom of God which He gives if we but ask, shouldn’t that make a difference in who we are and the way we behave? Paul certainly thought it should at Corinth.
What if we were to implore God for wisdom in fervent prayer and expect to receive it? And, when God does give it to us, either in large bunches or small fragments, what if we lived according to His wisdom? Would we be better or worse for it?
How wise are we really? Why do we find ourselves involved in some of the things that pop up in our lives if we are really so wise?
We have looked at wisdom as if it were this magical power from God to make us “smarter” in order to make good decisions in life. While that is somewhat true, there is the other side we must recognize. We must see that wisdom is not being “smart”, but is taking what we know and knowing how to use it to do what we are here to do. We are here to be reflections of God, to bring light into a dark world and exercise justice, the setting of things right. Wisdom is knowing what to do with what we are knowing and learning. How Wise Are We?
If these be true, wisdom will assist us, not in being smarter than everyone else, but applying the truths of God so that it makes our feet walk in a different path, our hands work in a different motion and our lips speak things that upright the world.
Now, I have to ask myself, “How Wise Am I?” What do you see when you ask that question?