All the words of my mouth are righteous; there is nothing twisted or crooked in them. -- Proverbs 8:8
Friday, August 7, 2015
The Beginning of Wisdom
I have an older brother and two older sisters. My brother is the “good one”. My oldest sister is the defiant one, and my other sister is the conniving one. It’s not really bragging in this field if I say that I’m the smart one. My father was not a person who put up with defiant children. I got in trouble a time or two and was surprised that it didn’t bother him that much. On the other hand, if I had ever defied him, I would have suffered. He and my sister, his first-born child, were very much alike, and they clashed a lot. My sister loved her father, but she just couldn’t take orders.
I always did what Dad said. I never learned to take orders from anyone else, not even my wife, as letting her have her way was more like being indulgent with a child than being under orders. But by the time I could walk and talk, I had figured out that I was going to do what Dad told me to do one way or another. There didn’t seem to be much point in getting a beating beforehand -- hence, the smart one.
The other thing I figured out was that Dad wasn’t going to tell me to do anything actually “bad”. Sometimes we played practical jokes on people. Sometimes we did things that would be considered illegal – but never immoral (hillbillies know about Romans 13; we also know we are the authority). Sometimes I had to do things that were unpleasant, even painful, but there’s no point in getting bigger without getting tougher.
This is not to say I did not have my time of rebellion. I did, but it was against teachers and cops and bosses and rules in general, and against God. What I eventually found was that God is a lot like Dad.
Defying God is self-destructive, and it runs counter to our own good. Remember, I was only the smart one in a cohort of four where there was little to no competition. In the bigger world, among all God’s children, I had to learn the hard way.
God doesn’t give His law, revelation, guidance, and wisdom to my hurt. He will never tell me to do wrong, which is one of the tests to let me know whether it was actually God talking or not. It will sometimes be unpleasant, challenging, and, yes, even painful to do what He says. But there’s no point in going to heaven if I’m not fit for it.