Arguing amongst us Christians seems to be at an all time high. I bet the devil is dancing a little jig. We can’t seem to agree on churches being open, wearing masks, gathering together, black lives mattering, funding or defunding the police, whether the president is a racist or not, and on and on and on. We boast of our breadth of knowledge about some topic near and dear to our emotions all the while pressing our perceived enemy’s face down into the dirt.
We forget the most important admonishment from Jesus: To love others.
If we start there, we set ourselves off on the right path toward speaking God’s wisdom rather than “earthly, unspiritual, demonic, wisdom” (James 3:15). But when we decide that something just “makes sense” to us without using the touchstone of God’s Words, oh the rabbit holes we can find ourselves deep within.
I used to follow a well-known female pastor. I’ve read her books and listened to her sermons. And then an election season came. She was vehement about supporting a certain candidate. She was distraught when he lost. It was based on her hatred for the current occupant of that seat. What made “sense” to her was that the current, very conservative senator was against illegal immigration and therefore a racist – her logic, not mine. However, the candidate she supported was pro-abortion (not just pro-choice), pro-illegal immigration, anti-school choice, pro-legalizing drug use, removing equal voting representation by eliminating the electoral college, and so much more. Just the abortion stance alone had me scratching my head. But a lot of her followers, or fans, went along with her. Just as a lot of Christians can’t seem to agree on abortion, I suppose. When it came down to it, I sought out Godly wisdom to decide whether my thoughts on the situation were in line with Jesus.
What I was led to was not to berate her on social media, not to burn her books, not to ask God to send her into hell. It was to pray for His wisdom and mercy to drop like a blanket over the situation. And with that, I went my own way in peace.
When we make decisions based on what the Bible calls the “flesh” – things that work “best” for us, what makes us feel good, what gets us what we think we want, or what we feel protects us – we are almost guaranteed to go off the rails. Here’s a few contrasts I’ve found when it comes to Earthly Wisdom vs Godly Wisdom
|Getting even||Being generous in love and forgiveness|
|Saving and hoarding||Helping those in need|
|Protecting “our time”||Generous with our gifts and talents|
|Avoiding our enemies||Reaching out to build bridges of peace|
|Being envious||Gaining peacefulness and thankfulness|
|Gossiping or berating||Building others up|
|Being deceitful||Seeking meekness and purity|
|Flip flopping our decisions||Being decisive in God’s righteousness|
|Withholding love||Giving mercy|
|Comply with the world’s view||Being sincere in who God made us to be|
Just because we call ourselves “Christians” doesn’t mean we can sit back and proclaim all our thoughts and actions good. Even our faith leaders are tested and must continually seek out His Word to ensure we walk on the right path.
Pursue it. It doesn’t say “once you’ve sought peace it’s all over, wash your hands, put your feet up and you’re done.” That’s because the devil, that wily adversary, just loves when we let our armor down. Especially when we think we’ve reached the pinnacle of being a “good Christian.” Every single day we are faced with decisions big and small. When we wake up, we decide what kind of day we will have – one living with or without the Holy Spirit. When we get stuck in traffic, encounter an unhappy person, when we see a homeless person, when we get asked to volunteer, we get another text from that relative who has differing political views, when we decide what to watch on tv, and what we say (or don’t say) we are thankful for at the end of the day.
I recently had a back and forth with a commenter who posted on a Christian site something about the organization Black Lives Matter. The commenter stated that the Bible supports the idea touted by the organization Black Lives Matter of destroying the nuclear family and raising our children commune-style. I’m sure that makes them feel good. It sounds lovely. Everyone raising everyone else’s kids and not one person needing to be wholly responsible. When I said I didn’t know where that was in the Bible, she said, “Well, I read the Bible differently than you.” Go figure. So often we find ourselves supporting ideas that sound good, sound loving, sound just, when it’s really based on earthly wisdom, not Godly. When we decide earthly wisdom is correct over God’s we’ve decided to remove Him from the throne. We’ve said we know better than the King of Kings.
It’s time to place our earthly wisdom right up against the measuring stick of God’s Word. Each time we feel “righteous” or “virtuous” we need a gut check to be sure it makes sense in God’s realm, not man’s.
What areas in your life have you defended which need to be held up against God’s Wisdom Measuring Stick?