Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Wisdom and Faith

Wisdom and faith are two different ways to get to divine truth. One is the way of Solomon; the other is the way of the followers of Jesus.

When God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon said that he wanted wisdom. He most certainly got wisdom. He wrote the Proverbs and the Ecclesiastes, which remain a major source of wisdom to humanity.

The followers of Jesus did not pursue wisdom. Instead they relied on the wisdom of someone greater than themselves. They acted in wise ways even if they themselves were not as wise as Solomon, since they were directed in their actions by Christ.

Wisdom is something that one develops in oneself. The person becomes wise, for any number of different reasons, and the wisdom becomes internalized. With faith, the person does not actually become wise himself. Instead he gets his cues from someone wiser than himself. This results in him acting in rightful manner, even if he does not understand the reasons for it. That way even a foolish person can behave wisely, because he is guided in his actions by somebody very wise.

There is most certainly a place both for faith and for wisdom. Faith is something that anyone can do, and it can guide people toward rightful actions even when they are not very knowledgeable. It however is often helpful to also have wisdom in order to explain things to people that they would not get through faith. Wisdom is something that becomes one's own, whereas faith is never one's own. Faith can be a training ground for developing wisdom. G-d won't always tell you the reasons for everything that he is doing with you, but you will find out the reasons later.

With wisdom however there are potentials for abuse, which do not exist in faith. Someone can use understanding of people for wrongful ends. This of course happens all the time. It happens in business, in politics, in relationships, in society, in academia, in anything. Wrong people find ways to get to wisdom and use them for wrong ends. Whereas G-d will never guide people in wrongful directions, and faith does not lend itself to being misused.

It merits to pursue both faith and wisdom. Faith can be a training ground for wisdom, as it teaches people wisdom through reliance on a truly wise source. Pursue both faith and wisdom; and when you do get to wisdom, make sure that you are using it for rightful ends.


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