Our collective knowledge
People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.
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!