Thursday, May 7, 2009

Wise Grief

“For with much wisdom is much sorrow; as knowledge increases, grief increases.” (Ecclesiastes 1:18 CSB)

Wait a minute, Lord. Are you sure about that? I mean, I know this is Your word, but I’m not sure I fully understand this.

Why would this be true? It would seem to be just the opposite. How can it be that more wisdom brings more sorrow, and more knowledge brings more grief? It just looks like the wiser and more knowledgeable you are, the happier and stronger you would be.

This does seem to go along with an old proverb we all know, “Ignorance is bliss.” As long as you don’t know anything, you can be fully at peace, munching grass in the pastures with the cows, pretty much oblivious to everything else.

Here’s how it works. Knowledge leads to responsibility, and responsibility leads to a proscribed action. The truth will set you free, but that freedom will bring responsibility, so that you are no longer able to ignore those proscribed actions that become evident from your knowledge or wisdom. Knowledge creates accountability. If you come to understand that the world is lost and going to hell, you are no longer able to sit around and do nothing about it. Your heart becomes burdened for the lost, and you grieve for their lostness. Such wisdom brings grief.

Father, give us more of this wisdom, so that we can discover more ways to resolve this grief through the actions You lead us to. Amen.

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