Just like a camera will generally have a point of focus, the human mind will usually have a point of focus. Eastern philosophies refer to the human mind as being like a drunk monkey looking for the ultimate banana. This, of course, pre-supposes that person is grasping, practicing the way of “get”. We live in a modern world that is filled with distractions of all kinds. There are many things that are devised to capture the mind: 2012 hype, imploding economy, fear-mongering in the media, moneymaking opportunities, entertainment, game playing, politics, talk radio, movies, television, games, Internet, etc. Once the mind is captured by a distraction, it generally ignores what it was previously paying attention to. It may or may not return to what it had originally focused on.
“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
What we treasure most will usually become the focus of our attention. This can cause us to compartmentalize our priorities. Truth from scripture may become compartmentalized to a part of our mind that contains religious thought. There is nothing wrong with doing that. But wouldn’t it be better to put it into a part of the mind that contains practical pragmatic wisdom?
Christ often condemned the religious leaders because of their lack of wisdom and their spirit of competition and their blindness. They failed to focus properly.
“The queen of the south shall rise in the judgment with the men of this generation, and condemn them: for she came from the utmost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon: and, behold, a greater than Solomon is here” (Luke 11:31).
The queen of Sheba heard about Solomon and his wisdom and went to see him to see if it really was true that he was the wisest man. She found he was indeed the wisest man (1 Kings 10:1-9).
“And she said to the king, it was an accurate report that I heard in my own land of your acts and of your wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and my eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: your wisdom and prosperity exceeds the fame which I heard of. Happy are your men, happy are these, your servants, which stand continually before you, and hear your wisdom. Blessed is the LORD your God, which delights in you, to set you on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel forever, therefore he made you king to do judgment and justice” (1 Kings 10:6-9).
The comparison made by Christ was that he (Christ) was infinitely wiser than Solomon. Yet the crowds of people, for the most part, had no real appreciation of that. And the religious leaders hated him.
The same is true today. Christ is the living Word of God (John 1:1). The Bible is the written Word of God. In the pages of the Bible we have a real wealth of knowledge that was created from wisdom that is infinite. But generally humans, for the most part, set Bible reading as a low priority. There are computer programs and internet links that can show and translate the various Greek texts on which the English New Testament is based. The same can be done with the Hebrew of the Old Testament. There are programs and concordances that show how specific original language words are used throughout scripture. There has never been an age in which this knowledge, in detail, was at the fingertips of humans until now. And yet the majority of people have almost no appreciation of it.
There are two things that cause a major focus away from God: an evil heart of unbelief and a heart hardened through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:12-13).
Scripture contains the knowledge we all need (2 Timothy 3:16). To transform it into wisdom, we have to ask.
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not…” (James 1:5).
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 9:10). The King James “fear” is from the Hebrew “yirah”, which means fear, awe, respect. Our respect for God is extremely important. Without it we cannot even begin to have wisdom.
Wily Elder, Ocala
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