A Framework for Faith/Spiritual Practice
Therefore seek the supreme wisdom, not by verbal debate, but by the perfection of a good life, not with the tongue but with the faith which issues from singleness of heart...
- Columbanus, Sermon I (Irish, 7th century)
"I, wisdom, dwell with prudence...I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me...My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver. I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice..."
- Proverbs 8.12, 17, 19, 20
"Where does wisdom dwell?" Job wanted to know (28.12). Wisdom is much to be desired. Every culture, regardless of how it has defined wisdom, has touted the value of it and urged its young people to find it.
But wisdom can be difficult to find. If we think that wisdom is just more information about this, that, and the other, then we're on the wrong track already. Wisdom is not as much about knowing as it is about living.
The Biblical idea of wisdom is not about aphorisms, pithy statements, and morals to stories. It's about living skillfully, living in a way that brings love and justice to men and that reflects the righteousness of God. Wisdom, as God intends it to be known, is embodied in Jesus Christ. If we would be wise, we must be like Jesus.
Or, rather, we must be Jesus. That is, He must be at work in and through us, as His Spirit transforms us from glory to glory into His image. In Proverbs 8 we hear the pre-incarnate Wisdom of God - the Word Who became flesh in Jesus Christ - declaring His virtues and calling all who would have wisdom to know Him.
Wisdom does not flow from mere intellectual apprehension. You can read all the philosophy you want and never become wise. Of course, the mind is involved in being wise, as are the heart and the conscience. But unless these, the components of the soul, are daily engaged with Jesus Christ, Who is the very Wisdom of God, we will never be wise, we will not be able to love our neighbor or show him the justice of God.
To be wise we must know Wisdom Himself. Draw near to Jesus. Hear Him in His Word; pour out your praise and thanks to Him in prayer; sing His virtues and celebrate His steadfast love and faithfulness; go in and with Jesus wherever you go, whatever you do. When Christ Jesus is living in and through you, you will be wise.
And then the fruit of wisdom, issuing from your words and works, will bring the blessings of God to the people around you, to the praise of the glory of His grace.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
ReVision - Just who does President Obama think he is, anyway?
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