“Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.” James 3:13
If you’ve ever spent any time with a preschooler, you have experienced the inherent need to understand the world around us. My three year old’s favorite topics of conversation are why, how, and what. Curiously interacting with the world around, he is on a great quest to find wisdom. By the many periodicals detailing what we can know about space, the depths of the ocean and the inner workings of the body, we know that curiosity doesn’t go away as we age, but intensifies. We must understand the world around us in order to experience fulfillment in life.
So what typically happens when that understanding is challenged, and something you thought you knew all about you suddenly don’t? There’s a panic, frustration, maybe even a grasping to retain and hold down what you “know” to be true. I imagine this is how people felt listening to Jesus’ sermon on the mount in Matthew 5-7. He would say with, “You have heard ____, but I tell you ______” taking the crowd’s understanding on murder, lust, love and so many other topics that they had a baseline for, were “wise” in, and turning them on their head. I imagine the religious leaders hot with anger, digging their heels into what they “knew” to be “true.” I know when God messes with my understanding of how something is supposed to work, that’s the first thing I do. The second is I tell Him He’s wrong; That He doesn’t understand how life works. I exalt my worldly understanding, my formulas for how to live over his wisdom, because more often than not, I would rather trust what I can prove by testing, and control than trust Him. Today, we open our finite human understanding and ask God to help us trust in His wisdom.
What is something in your life that you thought you understood and Jesus turned it upside down?
What is something you’re hanging onto your understanding of instead of God’s understanding?
Father, you have given us this wonderful gift of curiosity and a desire for wisdom and I thank you for that. Forgive me for exalting my understanding of life instead of being willing to accept what You reveal, as the very Designer of life. I open my thirst for understanding to You and place my trust in Your wisdom, which is pure, impartial and sincere. Amen