Monday, August 8, 2011

Knowledge or Wisdom?

Before I begin let me tell you that I am not nagging you. The first part of the scripture deals with what we talked about last week. I guess we can begin to accept that God is serious about this subject since the scripture that He led me to this week was preceded by these words:

Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.

Did you get that last few words? Real life deals in the truth that God has given us the resources that we have to share with others. Maybe that is why the church today is devoid of joy, peace, contentment, and true love! Instead of sharing our resources we hoard them in new clothes, bigger houses, 401-k's, new cars, entertainment and on and on! Life is calling!

The final words of a mentor to his child in the faith, Timothy are those that are close to the heart of the mentor, Paul. Before he concludes his letter he desires to give a final piece of advice. The last advice has the best chance of being remembered so Paul was strategic in in final words:

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you, avoiding worldly and empty chatter and the opposing arguments of what is falsely called “knowledge”— which some have professed and thus gone astray from the faith. 1 Timothy 6:17-20

This world is comfortable with empty chatter. Chatter about other people, chatter about sports, chatter about the weather but avoiding at all-costs any discussion about anything of value. Try to bring up something of substance and you will discover how unprepared most people are.

Paul had personal experience with people at all levels and wanted to prepare his friend and child in the faith. Opposing arguments and worldly knowledge are a defense against truth and difficult life giving discussions. These lead away from the very things that they are defensive about, truth and understanding.. It is important for us to understand that we, as His witnesses, are not sent to debate or argue with people. The only thing that our efforts accomplish is driving them further into their "knowledge".

Why is earthly knowledge called false? Wisdom is God's gift to mankind and knowledge is the world's imitation. Proverbs states that the "fear of God is the beginning of wisdom"! Without an understanding and a faith in God mankind has no hope of discussing truth!

We are left to a couple of choices when we encounter individuals who chatters incessantly, we can smile and listen thereby supporting the person or we can begin to bend the discussion toward truthful things. Understand that you are never alone in turning a discussion from the inane toward truth. The Holy Spirit partners with you as you take the first step.

Paul said to avoid the empty chatter because it is worthless are best and destructive to our witness at the worst! As you bend the discussion, the Holy Spirit will make you aware when the discussion slips into a discussion of "false knowledge". It is at this point it is best for us to walk away on good terms and leave future encounters and results to the Holy Spirit! Remember God cares far more about the lost than we could ever care!

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