Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The Word of God is the key and foundation for all wisdom in life. Without it, we would not have any structure of organization to our daily lifestyles. The Bible is the infallible compass to all divine truths pertaining to salvation. It feeds the minds of those who hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God. The words of the Creator impart wisdom to the simple. "The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" [Psalm 19:7-8]. If the precepts of the Lord are perfect, then continually studying His words will enrich the mind with valuable lessons about life and morality. Why would any reasonable person refuse an opportunity to gain an understanding of what life is truly about? Life is like a book; for God is the author and we are all the main characters. The Scriptures cover several vital aspects of life such as gratitude, fear of the Lord, honesty, self-control, generosity, and how to speak wisely.
People learn many great lessons about wisdom when the Scriptures are closely examined. One of the most important teachings of the Bible is to have gratitude for everything we receive on a daily basis. People should be grateful and remember the magnificent works of the Lord such as the creation of life, the atoning sacrifice of His Son Jesus Christ, and the materials that we occupy each day. "Give thanks to the God of heaven, For His loving kindness (graciousness, mercy, compassion) endures forever" [Psalm 136:26]. We should reveal much gratitude because of what He has done for us. "You are the God who does wonders; among the peoples you have revealed your might" [Psalm 77:15]. We have emphatically been taught to view the glass of life as being at least half full, rather than as being half empty. Otherwise, human life will become unable to function properly because of a lack of compromise and the world would become an absolutely joyless place. We must give the Lord praise for everything that He has provided us.
The Lord has instructed us to always be cautious of what we say to others. We must always remain truthful. We must always choose to act respectfully. In other words, we must choose to watch our tongues because our words may be false, disrespectful, or irrelevant to a given situation. “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends” [Proverbs 16:28]. How would a person feel if his or her reputation was ruined simply because of another individual's gossip or misinformation? Can this standard not be applied to everybody? Those who never think before they speak are the ones who lack understanding. Conversely, a person who has genuine wisdom has control over their words. Unwise speech is like a virus, pass it around and the minds of other people will be infected with the stain of meaningless thoughts. Those who wish to be wise with their mouths will also heed to the words of the Lord.
Another moral lesson that we can learn by studying the inspired words of God is the necessity of remaining honest. We could never trust a person who constantly spreads falsehood. Furthermore, lying can severely damage a person's reputation for a very lengthy period of time, if not permanently. "An honest witness does not deceive; but a false witness pours out lies" [Proverbs 14:5]. The only reason that a person spreads lies about others is for selfish motives. People talk behind other's backs because they want to inflict physical or mental harm. They want to harm an individual's sense of dignity. Gossip is like a double-edge sword; when it cuts, it harms the confidence of others and slashes the armor of the perpetrator's conscience. A lie leaves an everlasting slash on the person who tells it. Dishonesty is only the springboard for more dishonesty, whether it is about oneself or other people. Hence, we see the dire need for honesty in the lives of everybody.
The Scriptures teach the necessity for the spiritual virtue known as fear of the Lord. A wise person would have fear of the Lord our God because He is infinitely smarter and stronger than we are. We are all His creations. Having fear of the Lord keeps our hearts humble. It keeps our moral thinking on the right track, for it helps us recognize the limits of our abilities. God will cast all of the unfaithful and unbelieving into the everlasting fires of hell. He is the One who set all forms of life and non-life into motion. "In the beginning, God created heaven and earth" [Genesis 1:1]. "God created mankind in His image; in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them"[Genesis 1:27]. If we fear the Lord, then we will also learn to obey His commandments. This is the perfect message for us blind sinners to heed to.
The Holy Bible repeatedly reinforces our obligation to love and respect others. "Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one above yourselves" [Romans 12:10]. Care is what keeps the world turning. It is the underlying basis for all relationships. It is necessary for human communication. It is the foundational virtue for the development of all other virtues. We must choose to help those who are less fortunate than we are. We must feed the homeless. We must care for the sick. We must offer education to the illiterate. We must shelter the homeless. We absolutely need to be holy. "Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor" [1 Peter 2:17]. "Love your neighbor as yourself..." [Leviticus 9:18]. We have been called by God to love our neighbors as ourselves [Matthew 5:43-48]. This is true wisdom. The Bible instructs us to be gentle to everybody else, regardless of how they treat us. Hatred is like a raging fire; let it burn and the house of companionship will collapse entirely.
People can learn the virtue of self-control by observing the words of God. We need an infallible guide in our lives because our minds are finite and are thus liable to error. Our conscience alone is not an infallible guide, which means that we need to appeal to an infinite, outside entity who can give us the necessary knowledge pertaining to life and godliness. All learning must originate from an outside source, which eventually points to an ultimate standard that governs every aspect of our lives. That final court of authority is God. We must learn how to resist the evil temptations of this world. The wise person would do well to follow the teachings of God. The path of destruction exists for those who do not obey His words of heavenly wisdom. We must place our trust in God, rather than the vain desires of the mind. "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" [Jeremiah 17:9]. Only through Him can we find complete satisfaction in life. The way of sin is finite and will thus never satisfy the longing human heart. We must reject our foolish lusts. We learn self-control by learning the ways of God.
The Holy Scriptures are the cornerstone to all wisdom because they record the direct words of God. In fact, they themselves are the inspired words of God which were recorded on to scrolls by the faithful prophets and apostles. Those who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness will immediately find satisfaction when they place themselves into His presence. They gain wisdom when they meditate on His statutes. Without an ultimate standard of wisdom, human life would be in a constant state of anarchy. The words of the Lord are pure. They are flawless. They impart understanding to the simple. There is therefore no valid reason to object to imitating His ways. The Word of God leads the faithful on the path to all righteousness. God is the rock of our salvation.