Post details: Wisdom for the folly of comparitive finger-pointing


Permalink 12:29:01 pm, Categories: By Trent, GraceHead counseling, 934 words   English (US)

Wisdom for the folly of comparitive finger-pointing

Two prominent principles stood out to me as I read this passage. Foremost, is a tale of how one became realistic about their lack of wisdom in order to gain new insight. Secondly, how pointless flattering comparisons and envy can be, which was the insight gained.

From Ecclesiastes Chapter 7 in the NIV:
23 All this I tested by wisdom and I said,
"I am determined to be wise"—
but this was beyond me.
24 Whatever wisdom may be,
it is far off and most profound—
who can discover it?

25 So I turned my mind to understand,
to investigate and to search out wisdom and the scheme of things
and to understand the stupidity of wickedness
and the madness of folly.

26 I find more bitter than death
the woman who is a snare,
whose heart is a trap
and whose hands are chains.
The man who pleases God will escape her,
but the sinner she will ensnare.

27 "Look," says the Teacher, "this is what I have discovered:
"Adding one thing to another to discover the scheme of things-

28 while I was still searching
but not finding—
I found one upright man among a thousand,
but not one upright woman among them all.

29 This only have I found:
God made mankind upright,
but men have gone in search of many schemes."

It seems to me that verse 23-24 we have a demonstration of the prerequisite of learning. The learning begins with an honest assessment of one's own blindness and ignorance. Just as you cannot pour water into a full vessel, you cannot be taught wisdom when you are oppressed by the pride that has convinced you that you have nothing left to learn. Verse 23 - wisdom was illusive. Verse 24 - the meaning of it all seem intimidating and out of reach of anybody. With the recognition of the daunting mountain of ignorance, the seeker is ready for a tiny seed of wisdom that can cast his mountain of folly into the sea.

Now, in verses 25-26 the author discusses his mindset in this state of confusion over the meaning of life. The subject turns to envy. Verse 25 - the search turns inward and the seeker looks at themselves. Verse 26 - the inward evaluation spins out again in critical view of others. This is a depiction of the contempt and conceit and envious disdain that blinded the seeker from wisdom. If we paint others as "bad," then we set ourselves up as "good." Nothing is meaner then a mind set out to make others fail, so that they feel like a success, but this is the twisted remedy that a crooked scheming man finds himself, when we fall out from God. And at this point, with honest portrayal about his own lack, and how raw and honest is his disdain for others ... the real wisdom comes.

Verse 27-29 the insight about how futile the comparison is. Verse 27 - a simple declaration that they found an answer. Verse 28 - I love this verse because its comic portrayal that there really is no comparison, and finding only yourself (presumably the 1 in a thousand men that was upright) is such a skewed and falsely flattering reality. If a bunch of beggars get together and one of them brags that everyone is broke, except him, because he has a nickle ... isn't that really worth boasting about? It is an outrageously silly boast, when everyone is broke and one beggar thinks that they are elite because they have a nickle more then those that have nothing. (Feel free to laugh at this point. I cracked up.) So, verse 29 has the clincher - "THIS ONLY have I found" ... the holy uprightness that comes from God is the contrast of uprightness - His design is the millionaire that makes our envy over a nickle seem so ridiculous. We are all broke, we have all gone astray into empty pursuits and have been left without the riches that God wanted us to have ... the riches of Himself.

I have to ask myself when I read this: What is my boast? Have I set myself up as elite by some obscure judgment criteia? Do I disdain others just to set myself up as better? How much better could I be, in all honesty? Can I really tell the difference between a grain of white rice in a sea of brown rice, when I am comparing the rice to only rice-made righteousness? Maybe so, but how does that white grain of rice really stack up to the skyscraper of a God-made righteousness?

The God-made Righteousness, for which we should be comparing what man should be, is the Empire State Building that renders us all as a sea of rice without much distinction one from another. I must constantly be aware that to whatever wisdom and improvement level I find myself, it is only because God, not because I am so special. So deep and unsearchable is my lack, that it is wisdom to know that all of my going astray is my doing, and all of my uprightness is God's doing. God can do it for anybody else and I cannot take the grace He has given as a lofty perch from which to harshly judge others (who really aren't no different then I will ever be apart from God's grace,) lest I become as someone that is unwise and ignorant of the uprightness that comes from God.

29"This only have I found:
God made mankind upright,
but men have gone in search of many schemes."

God's grace is the only purifying remedy, that sets any of us straight.
We cannot underestimate our corruption, and waywardness apart from Him.

Trackback address for this post:

Comments, Trackbacks, Pingbacks:

Comment from: Pam [Member]
Hey Trent,

Did you ever read the book, "Peace Child"? It is a very good depiction of the state that mankind can decend to when there is no knowledge of God and human beings are completely devoid of the Grace of God. There is nothing very enobeling about human beings without some knowledge of the one true living God even apart of Jesus.

The most blantant way in which I can see that you don't measure up is that 'than' is spelled 'than' not 'then'. tee hee! That is when your age is showing, Trent and I know that you rely on the spell checker too much. Untie!

Love ya, buddy.

Permalink 05/30/06 @ 00:07
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
I have to tell ya, Pam. People like me should not be allowed to blog. I honestly do not know the difference between then and than. Every once in a while, I get a hint that those two words are not interchangable, but that doesn't help. ... not that I am asking anybody to tell me, because that would only frustrate the teacher. However, if you are a glutton for punishment and don't mind a pupil that neglects instruction, anybody can fill me in on the difference between the two. Than I'll sleep, then I'll wake, than I'll forget what I was told. Than you'll be sorry.

Bad spellers of the world, UNTIE!

Permalink 05/30/06 @ 01:01
Comment from: Pam [Member]
:0) In exchange could you straighten me out on effect and affect? Do you think you could be affective in effecting affective change in my use of effect and affect??????


than=comparison (like the subject of your blog)
Permalink 05/30/06 @ 09:46

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be displayed on this site.
Your URL will be displayed.
Allowed XHTML tags: <p, ul, ol, li, dl, dt, dd, address, blockquote, ins, del, span, bdo, br, em, strong, dfn, code, samp, kdb, var, cite, abbr, acronym, q, sub, sup, tt, i, b, big, small>
(Line breaks become <br />)
(Set cookies for name, email & url)

I serve , the Lord.

Please enter the name of the Lord (the Risen One) into the entry area BEFORE clicking on the Send comment button.

Hint: the version of the name is the English version, not the Hebrew way to say His name. All letters are uppercase. Rhymes with "freeze us."

Blog All

Automatically aggregates all posts from all other blogs. This allows you to easily track everything that is posted on this system. You can hide this blog from the public by unchecking 'Include in public blog list' in the blogs admin.

July 2013
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
<<  <   >  >>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        


this site  web    



Syndicate this blog XML

What is RSS?

powered by