Weekly Thought – December 7, 2021
Fred appreciated a prayer from William Barclay and studied its line often in preparation for speaking or teaching. One of his favorite principles of speaking was: “speak from the overflow.” He wanted to be fully prepared, not just with specific material for one lesson, but with ample content to provide a robust quality to his talks. He desired to impart life principles leading to wisdom, not just information.
The Process of Wisdom
“Lord, grant us in our work, satisfaction; in our study, wisdom; in our pleasure, gladness; and in our love, loyalty.”
William Barclay who spent his life studying, realized that wisdom comes by process. Scripture talks about getting knowledge, and then understanding, and then wisdom. In America we are long on knowledge, but short on wisdom. We educate the head so much better than we educate the heart. Often you hear, “How can anyone that smart be that dumb?” Their head may be smart, but their heart is ignorant.
The major problems we face today are not because we are uneducated, but because we are unwise. We see this in political confrontations. Those are educated men and women. They may have knowledge, but greatly lack wisdom. Wall Street scandals are not from lack of knowledge, but from lack of wisdom which manifests itself in lack of character.
One of the most interesting columns I’ve read in a long time is “The heartless lovers of mankind.” The author points out how dangerous intellectuals are who have theories about the welfare of mankind without regard for individual life. The writer points out Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Stalin as men who had an intellectual theory about the construction of society. Each had no regard for individuals, even those close to them. These theorists used what is called “useful murders.” Mao killed 300,000,000 while working out a social theory and philosophy. All of these men saw mankind as raw material for experimentation. They did not love people. They loved power and played with lives as pieces on a chess board.
Let me quote from T.S. Eliot: “where is the life we have lost in living? Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information? The cycles of heaven in twenty centuries bring us further from God and nearer to the dust.”
God made us from dust to move toward God. Eliot points out that we are moving quickly back to the dust.
Knowledge will never be enough. In our high technology world we fail to complete the process moving from data to information to knowledge to wisdom. We get stuck and wisdom loses.
May we understand and believe Barclay, “in our study, wisdom.”
This week carefully consider 1) Who are the wisdom figures in my life? 2) How tempted am I to stop at knowledge? 3) What am I doing to attain and apply wisdom in my relationships?
Words of Wisdom: “Their heads may be smart, but their hearts are ignorant.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing; it benefits those who see the light of day.” (Ecclesiastes 7:11 NET Bible)