Daily D – 1 Corinthians 8:2
Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much. 1 CORINTHIANS 8:2 (NLT)
We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions—but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds.
This verse feels like a fitting summary of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes. A few examples:
“Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool,” (7:5).
“Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride,” (7:8).
“Control your temper, for anger labels you a fool,” (7:9).
“Don’t long for the ‘good old days.’ This is not wise,” (7:10).
“One wise person is stronger than ten leading citizens of a town!” (7:19).
“When a crime is not punished quickly, people feel it is safe to do wrong,” (8:11).
“People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy,” (9:12).
Humble hearts are better than proud minds. Know-It-Alls don’t.
You may recognize some of Solomon’s wisdom here from the headlines of recent days. Seattle’s police chief resigned because the city council has sided with lawbreakers rather than law-abiding citizens. Safety and property rights are lesser values than unrestrained protest.
Chicago’s District Attorney refuses to prosecute violent crime. Chicago has had to close the inner city due to the violence. A looter interviewed on television said looting was a form of reparations.
These are not isolated incidents.
The pandemic is truly a worldwide phenomenon. No nation and no people group is safe. Hard times have come. Everyone is trapped.
We can long for the Good Old Days, but the Good Old Days are not coming back. The Good Old Days were good because a lot of people did a lot of hard work to make them possible. We can create what generations to come will call the Good Old Days. However, how many will dedicate themselves to doing the hard work necessary to bring them about?
- What would it take to create a world where it was safe to leave the doors of our homes unlocked? What would it take to create a world where every person treated everyone else with respect?
- What would it take to create a world where government leaders worked for the common good?
- What would it take to create a world where family life was esteemed and protected?
- What would it take to create a world where schools were able to focus on education and not with everything that hinders instruction?
Such a world is possible if we will humble ourselves and acknowledge that no one person has all the right answers. Such a world is possible if we apply the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. Such a world is possible if live according to the Great Commandment which says to love God supremely and to love one another the way we love ourselves. Loving God leads us to love those he loves. Loving other people leads us to do what is right, just, fair, and compassionate for all people everywhere.
Simple truth is the most profound. Love God. Love people. Build a better world.
We cannot wait on political parties, news media, or other entrenched groups to figure out this truth. We have to live it and spread it everywhere we go. We have the Good News. Let us tell and live better stories. Our children and grandchildren and those beyond them deserve to live in the next true and beautiful version of what future generations will call the Good Old Days. We are not responsible for the world we inherited, but we are accountable for what we will leave behind.
I will live with a humble heart and not a proud mind.
Our Father, use me to build a better world. I freely confess that I do not have all the answers. I do not firmly grasp all the questions. I know you. You love everyone and so should I. Show me how to live in the most loving fashion in every circumstance. Empower me to live that love especially when it is hard due to antagonism and opposition. Empower me to live a better story and to help others do the same. Amen.
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Psalm 147:10, 11 He is not impressed by the strength of a horse; he does not value the power of a warrior. The LORD values those who fear him, those who put their hope in his faithful love.
Matthew 6:25, 33 “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? . . . But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. (CSB)
Proverbs 17:27, 28 The one who has knowledge restrains his words, and one who keeps a cool head is a person of understanding. Even a fool is considered wise when he keeps silent — discerning, when he seals his lips. (CSB)