We live in fairly hysterical times. Issues that ought to have substantive discussion and weighty contemplation are treated in commercials and sound bytes lasting merely nanoseconds. What might have been the topic of reasoned and reflective thinking is decided by the latest polls. Spotting trends has become an art/science. The consequence of all this is that the vast majority of us are easily swayed and manipulated by whatever may be the next thing coming down the pike. Bombarded we are with sensory input from email, the internet, social media, and cell phones, surrounded by a continual noise from never silent cable TV. As a culture we’re in danger of losing the time to think because we haven’t the time for it. And, we haven’t the leisure for it. Some may scoff about the story about the Tower of Babel in Genesis, but as far as I can tell, we have built it anew during the times in which we are living.
So, as a consequence, everything is cast in terms of reactivity. So, this week when we have lessons that try to focus us on the Wisdom of God, it is a refreshing theme—and—a theme very much appropriate for our times. Proverbs 1:20 shows the image of Wisdom crying out in the streets, begging for an audience of some sorts, but being drowned out by the din and the busyness of life. “I called and you refused, have stretched out my hand and no one heeded, you have ignored my counsel and would have none of my reproof.”
James 3 invites our contemplation about how it is that we choose to use the gift of speech. Is it a thing that is used to encourage and to lift up our brothers and sisters, or is it a thing that we use to tear them down? His view is that part of being a redeemed person is to learn to engage in redeemed speaking. James leaves us with the question if it is possible for a spring to pour out from the same opening both fresh and brackish water? And yet, in our struggle to live as redeemed persons, we spew forth words of profound discouragement that flows like effluent rather than that which mirrors the wisdom of God.
Finally, in Mark 8 with the confession of Peter—his great insight that Jesus is truly the Messiah, the Christ, we have these two aspects of wisdom brought into focus. With the wisdom of God, Peter sees clearly that our Lord is the anointed one of God; yet in the same breath, in the word carelessly spoken, he offers an invitation of profound discouragement to the Lord Jesus; his recoiling with horror at our Lord’s explanation of His passion is a stumbling block, for it is an invitation to our Lord to not carry through with his vocation as the suffering servant of God.
If we would seek Wisdom, we have to learn to do a thing that is difficult for us all. True wisdom is not generally served by whatever spews forth from our lips. True wisdom comes from seeing things from the perspective of God.