Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts.
Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts
Yesterday we considered the fact that those of us with obscured vision still believe that we see the truth perfectly. It is easy to make the assumption that if other people have wrong views, and our views are different from them, then our views must inherently be right. But that is a logical fallacy.
How then, when our perspective is genuinely clear and correct, do we even know that it is so? How are we to know when we see the truth that we even are doing so?
That is a whole other topic of study worth exploring. For now, though, I’ll settle with the second half of the verse I’ve quoted. We will know that we have finally the right perspective when it is not our own perspective anymore, but His.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God
Those that discredit faith proclaim that to follow God is naive. And, if God did not exist, they would be right. For if God were not real, then none of the things promised in His name would be true. And if people believe in something which is false, then truly that is foolishness. Indeed, that is a very succinct definition for the word.
Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men
For the preaching of the cross unto us which are saved it is the power of God
But what becomes of this “foolishness of God,” if it so happens to be true? Is it naive to be a follower, if following these precepts actually redeems our hearts and heals our souls? Those of us which are saved attest that the preaching from the cross is not foolishness, but verifiable truth.
And what is the seeing of truth if not wisdom? This is a very succinct definition for that word as well. In the end, it does not matter how elaborate and complex a cynical statement is. If it is wrong, then it is foolish, no matter how intricate it might be. And it does not matter how simple and unvarnished a statement of faith is. So long as it is true, so long as it describes things as they really are, then it is wisdom.
We all stumble in many ways.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
We all stumble in many ways
Give me a list of moral dilemmas, ethical quandaries, and human behaviors to judge. I will answer each one and I will invariably feel that all of my answers are the right answers, or in other words I will feel that my opinion is the same as God’s. Every man believes that he judges rightly.
But if I ask you to answer this same list of questions, you might answer some the same as me, but you will inevitably answer others of them differently. And for all your answers you will be just as convinced of your own rightness as I am of mine, and this would mean that at least one of us must be wrong, even when we are convinced that we are right.
If we’re being perfectly honest, though, it isn’t just one of us that is wrong. Neither you nor I will be totally right in all of our judgments because we are flawed and imperfect beings. In one of our disagreements I might be the one in error, but in another disagreement it might be you.
Every man believes that he judges rightly, but every man is at least somewhat mistaken.
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser
A man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend
Exploring the differences in our beliefs can be a painful exercise, because it is very easy to get one’s pride tangled up in it. If one is not careful, then feelings are hurt and bitterness comes out. However, if both parties are willing to shelve their pride and sincerely seek truth, then something remarkable occurs.
First we can examine our areas of disagreement objectively. By questioning our motives we may discover a bias that blocked our discernment. With time and care we can each improve, or sharpen, the other’s understanding.
There is another benefit as well. Though we may have differences of opinion, we also certainly have agreements. As I suggested yesterday, in those places where our opinions overlap our confidence in having judged rightly greatly increases. There, in our mutual agreement, we begin to see God in our midst.