Monday, January 23, 2012

The Burden of Wisdom

Solomon was a brave man to ask for the gift of wisdom. It's rarely easy to acquire the gifts of the Spirit, but at least in most cases you end up with something you want. For example, we develop the gift of patience by experiencing trying situations, but once patience has been cultivated, there's not really a down side to it.

Wisdom, though? As one of my mentors told me, "Consider yourself both blessed and cursed that you can see the forest for the trees."

I was at a retreat years ago where we studied the book of Ecclesiastes. I believe they nearly choked when I said that I wouldn't want wisdom. It's from God! Of course it is good! And indeed it is good, but it's not as simple as, say, joy.

Wisdom opens ones eyes. The wise can see inequalities and white lies. They understand what is required for justice. They know how far to push someone so he stretches but does not break. And not only do they see the world more clearly, they see themselves. Wisdom reveals what is wrong in the world and what can be done to fix it.

The problem is, the world cannot be fixed by one person. The wise one must see the problem, the solution, and know he is not able to be all things to all people. He sees the folly of others and recognizes that the same mistakes will be made again and again.

I would not count myself among the wisest and I am grateful for this. God gives us gifts as we require them, so I am thankful that the wisdom I have can be used to help those around me. But I would never be so bold as to pray for wisdom.

For in much wisdom is much grief, 
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
Ecclesiastes 1:18

1 comment:

  1. Very true! its very heavy.. when i ased for for it. I did not know what i was asking for.