sexta-feira, 5 de junho de 2015

THE URGENCY OF WISDOM


Be very careful, then, how you live
—not as unwise but as wise,
making the most of every opportunity,
because the days are evil.


Ephesians 5.15-16 (see 5.15-20) - NIV

Knowledge is a gift of God. We were not created to be ignorant and closed. We were given two eyes and two ears for a reason. The search for knowledge and wisdom can be our noblest endeavor. We have the largest brain of all living beings. We are put in a universe of infinite wonders! Knowledge includes wisdom on how to apply the information that we attain. Wisdom is the proper use of science, it is common sense.

There is a story of an extraterrestrial (ET) that was sent to Earth to discover if there was intelligent life on the planet. Seeing the big cities and the signs of high technology, he sent back to his home planet this message: "There is intelligent life on earth." Sometime later, he sent another communication: "I was wrong in the first report. There is life on Earth, but it is not intelligent. Humans live warring with each other and destroying the planet that is their only home."

A healthy faith seeks to free itself from the ignorance of a closed world that is limited to a rigid system of dogmas and doctrines. It recognizes that all truth, be it spiritual, physical or social, is divine. It is not afraid to "examine everything" and to "retain what is good." It seeks to rid itself of prejudices which is the result of ignorance and lack of faith.

Ignorance is weak and has to raise barriers with which to defend itself. It needs protection and isolation. It is afraid of the world. The truth is strong and does not need defenses or protection. It is liberating. It is not afraid of science, because it knows how to use it for the good.

The Jesus of the Gospels is presented as an open person and as a smasher of the barriers of the religious and social ignorance of his time. He gave an example of how to live wisely in contact with the world. But his followers, in the following generations barricaded themselves in ecclesiastic structures. They opted to freeze human knowledge in closed dogmatic and doctrinal systems. But from Galileo’s time to now these closed systems are being challenged, forcing churches to review their stance. Resistance to change is still strong with many conservative Christians clinging on to rigid outdated views of the world.

The irony of our time is that mankind has a lot of knowledge, but not the wisdom to use it for the common good. We know more and more but understand less and less. We have mountains of data but do not know how to digest it. Wealth increases, but poverty grows even more. Medical science develops new drugs, but diseases become ever more deadly and spread faster than before.

Today, more than ever this text, Ephesians 5:15-20, is appropriate even for the survival of the human species. It ceases to be merely a religious text to be experienced within a community of faith. The world has become one big village. Sitting at home we can watch in real time what is happening on the other side of the world. We cannot separate ourselves from the rest of the world. Wisdom must be exercised in all spheres of everyday life: political, economic, social, religious and environmental.

"Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

EPHESIANS 5:15-20 - NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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