It Isn’t Easy…
By Maurice C. Wildy III
Striving to learn, understand, discern, sharpen one’s acuity, and to stand one’s ground in the face of opposition and ridicule can be quite tough. It can lead to feelings of isolation, alienation, alterity, and even a sense of profound loneliness and depression — yet we press on, knowing that “…in much wisdom [is] much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:18). That sorrow originates both from within and from without, seeing that “…Knowledge puffeth up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). That felt sense of pride can go a long way in bringing one way, way down — especially as one considers just how much God hates pride: for “…God resisteth [opposes, ranges in battle against] the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6) and “Pride [goeth] before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Though the believer never falls utterly…, temporally, experimentally, such verses surely apply to the wayward saint as well.
Thus, few things tug at my conscience more than that felt sense of ungodly pride welling itself up against those who mock, scoff, troll, slander, and who otherwise mischaracterise and demean that which they can neither appreciate nor understand. Where pity, long-suffering, and compassion should be found… I often find anger, annoyance, and deep frustration… this circles back to a weight on the conscience, that clear sense of lacking the grace/strength necessary to better deal with such things… to which I remind myself that “fleeing to the blood,” and *asking for more grace” is the best thing one can do in such situations, as one strives to press on.
So God indeed gives the warning “Be not righteous over much; neither make thyself over wise: why shouldest thou destroy thyself? 17 Be not over much wicked, neither be thou foolish: why shouldest thou die before thy time?” (Ecclesiastes 7:16-17). He also declares “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7) and again “Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits” (Romans 12:16). And yet He declares as well, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee…” (Hosea 4:6) and “How long, ye simple ones, will ye love simplicity? and the scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge?” (Proverbs 1:22).
The Bible is designed to give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion (Proverbs 1:4 ) but may God give us much grace, prudence, and wisdom, to walk humbly in light of whatever gifts He gives us, whether it be the gift(s) of love, peace, faith, knowledge, understanding, discernment, comfort, discipline, strong obedience, and so on.