Skip to main content

Our collective knowledge

People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them. 
(Epictetus)

I cannot help but find this quote a little 'practical' today. Isn't this what all these debates on each side of an argument do to us? They disturb something within us - not because the ideal is wrong, but the view we take of the ideal might be less than 'right' in somebody's view. It amazes me that a Greek philosopher from the first century actually might remind us of something so profound. We are 'disturbed' more by the 'side' we assume than by the 'thing' we are debating! Are you also aware that Epictetus said, "If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish and stupid"? Maybe some of us just need to take our stand, but stop debating the 'views' of all the others who think us foolish and stupid!

But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. God has chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty. (I Corinthians 1:27)

Epictetus also reminded us, "The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best." There will always be contention as long as we live on this earth, but we don't have to choose to engage in what some debate. Why? We aren't going to uplift anybody by debating - we will just drive wedges deeper and make the gaps in our beliefs wider. The truth is to be told - there is no greater message regardless of the 'debate' of the hour. Surround yourself with the right company and you will always find you are being built up, not torn down!

Epictetus also told us it wasn't 'what' happened to us that made the difference, but 'how' we reacted to it. This isn't new information because God has been telling us there is 'right' and 'wrong' way to respond to life's events since the beginning of time. We either reject the lie and embrace the truth, or we accept the lie and forsake the truth. The choice is ours - how we 'react' will be an evidence of which of these we have embraced! God has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise - the weak to confound the mighty. That is counter-intuitive, isn't it? God doesn't always 'do' things as we would expect - because he isn't limited by our view of the situation.

God expects us to use what we have been given in Christ Jesus to confound this world. Not with a mighty sledge-hammer pounding truth home, but with the 'pressure' of the Spirit of God's presence in our lives. The 'company' we keep is first with God himself - then with others who also seek to uplift Christ first and foremost. As we keep this 'company', we find our 'wisdom' far outreaches the heights of the wisest in this world. Why? We have the collective knowledge of God on our side! Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean