Wise in Whose Eyes

Psalm 119:121–128, 1 Kings 4:29–34, Ephesians 6:10–18

‌We are often presented with the of Solomon. The seem convinced that Solomon was gifted wisdom beyond normal humans by God. Yet, Solomon retained his freedom to make choices contrary to God revealed instructions.

‌We cannot know the heart of Solomon. Perhaps he believed he was doing the wise thing (and he was politically) by marrying many foreign women for the protection of the nation. However, elsewhere, the Scriptures tell us that Solomon got a bit lost later in life and would gods other than God with his foreign wives.

‌If you read the passage from the psalm, you can get either the mental image of a truly and humble or the image of one who thinks they are.

‌Every time I read these verses, I myself if I (at the time of reading) am being the true servant or the self-deceiving one. I have learned, over time, that depending on where I am spiritually, I can be either or even both.

‌There is a temptation to automatically think one’s of self is correct, and that even includes the question of being a true servant or a self-deceiving one.

‌There are many Christians who have been deceived (and self-deceive) that they are not faithful servants because they have not lived up to the archetypal perfect Christian. Thus, they are accused of, or self-accuse, being hypocrites. While the “perfect” Christian is often thought to be only a legalistic issue with Holiness denominations (such as my own, the Church of the Nazarene), I have spoken to many people who have internalized this who were raised in completely different Christian traditions.

‌The Western World, with its history, has also internalized this to both its and the Christian faith’s detriment. I have met very few Christians (only 1, I think) who believed they had become the perfect Christian. The rest, well, the more they perceive that they have been shaped by Jesus Christ, the more they realize they have further to go.

‌At least for today, read ‘s words to the Ephesians in the context of realizing that we have allowed the world to falsely define what it means to be a Christian, and we ourselves, have created the ideal Christian in the mold of unachievable perfectionism, which is (really) legalism that destroys the .

‌Freedom in Christ is not truly possible when we are held in bondage to perfectionism or legalism. The external behavior may be seen as correct, but God wants the heart.

※Reflection※

‌What is your reaction to the psalmist’s words? Why do you think that is?

‌How does the wisdom the world differ from the wisdom of God? How are the two similar?

※Prayer※

‌Lord, as we ask for wisdom, help us to be able to tell the difference between the wisdom of the world and your wisdom. Help us not be discouraged as the world tries to define for us what it means to follow you, while we diligently and humbly seek you. Amen.