Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wisdom and Reader's Digest

I really enjoy Reader's Digest.  I always have and a friend of mine gets me a subscription for it every year for Christmas!  I also love bubble baths!  Bubble baths and Reader's Digest go together like peanut butter and jelly, donuts and coffee, salt and pepper and Batman and Robin.  I mean it is the perfect size book to read in the bathtub.  Easy to handle, it folds in half for one hand holding, and it doesn't matter if you accidentally drop it and it gets wet!  It also is much more relaxing a read, with short little encouraging stories and some fun and clean humor sections, than my usual theological bible study selections.

I was recently having one of these rare evenings where Jeff was home and was guarding the bathroom door armed and ready to tackle all the questions and interruptions that seem to always surface the minute I close the bathroom door!  By the time the water had filled up the tub, he had already fended off the "where is mom?!?" questions, thwarted an attempt to sneak out of kitchen duty, and circumvented a possible "we can get away with it-Dad's reading the news" coo.  I listened for the sounds of bickering or the house falling down...but it was quiet!  My hero had secured the gate and was standing guard!  Ahhhh...nice hot bath and the Reader's Digest!

I don't usually read the Reader's Digest from front cover to back.  I usually head right for Life in these United States or quotable quotes.  It takes a little time to decompress from the day before I am ready to dig in to such heady stuff as "The Dog Who Became the Dog Whisperer" or "8 Clever Shortcuts to Peel & Slice".  For some reason, this night, I started at the front.  Quickly thumbed past the Geico ad and the contents page and landed on the Editor's Note.  I don't usually read that either.
But, the headline was "Wisdom Begins in Wonder" -Socrates.  Thanks to some of that usual reading of theological books and my treasured Bible, that statement immediately made me go

The editor began to list things that had filled her with wonder lately.  I have to give her a little credit...some of them do fill me with wonder too:  Sunsets, people who can make people laugh and the red color a Japanese Maple turns in October(not that I have ever seen one, but still...), chocolate with nuts, and how that in the very same day she can ache with grief, mist with gratitude, and giggle at the sun.  But just like so many things written today, the enemy has infiltrated in unknowing (sometimes knowing) people these kinds of humanistic thoughts that are 90% untruth with just a little splash of Truth.  This article reminded me how important it is to know what God's Word says, hide it in our hearts and minds, so we are ready to give an answer and deflect and defeat the lies of the enemy!  For example, where the Bible says wisdom begins is the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 9:10). Oh, but it sounds so good, Socrates, to say "Wisdom Begins in Wonder!"  So much more palatable for our feeble little hearts and minds.  The prince of this world wants to take glory from God, and in this instance, make men believe that they can be wise in their own eyes.  No one is truly wise, whether they are full of wonder or not, until God has regenerated them and they are walking in the wisdom of God.  And in the fear of God, which is the awe and reverence of being reconciled to God as His children!

So, the editor recommended that the readers make their own list of things that fill them with wonder. Here are a few of mine:

*That God created everything in 6 days
*That that creation is beautiful, in color, and unfathomable in design
*That He made man in His own image and desired fellowship with us
*The way He chose to keep His covenant with us
*That Christ-fully God, came to earth-fully man.  Kept the whole law, never sinned,
   was tempted in every way we are, experienced our hurts, joys, and sorrows.
*How He fulfilled the covenant of works and grace with His death, burial, and resurrection
*How we are clothed in Christ's righteousness when all our righteousness was as filthy rags
*How He hasn't left us alone because of His Holy Spirit working in and through us
*That He has chosen us for good works
*That He has chosen us. Period.
*How we were created to bring Him glory and to enjoy Him now and forevermore

Just to name a few!  I bet you can add a lot more to this list!  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

Sorry Mrs. Editor and Socrates.  You both got that one wrong.

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight." Prov. 9:10

"And he said to the human race, "The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding." Job. 28:28

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise." Psalm 111:10

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." Prov. 1:7