(16)”Then I said: ‘Wisdom is better than strength. Nevertheless the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard. (17)Words of the wise, spoken quietly, should be heard Rather than the shout of a ruler of fools. (18) Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good.’” (Ecclesiastes 9:16-18)
Today’s Our Daily Bread concerned the book of Ecclesiastes 9:13-18. As shown above it is about how we all too soon forget the wisdom of the people who help us. We forget too quickly the good in people. I, myself, am guilty of overlooking all the good in someone so I may focus on the bad. It is usually the bad that people remember. It is the wrong in people, the wrong in how people treat us that sticks with us during the day rather than the people who made us laugh or smile.
Some people think this is because the bad is stronger. I disagree. We are the ones who give the bad, the wrong, and the evil the strength. We are the ones who take the power and strength away from the good. The power of the foolish is only as strong and influential in your life as you make it to be. And the hard truth is you can only affect the strength of wrong and evil in your own life. You can’t control how powerful the people around you make it to be. But I’m not telling you to give up. The power you, me, or the people around you, give to the bad and evil in this world…the foolish…isn’t beyond your reach. It isn’t beyond my reach. It is before me, behind me, beside me, and within me.
God, in His infinite wisdom, gave me every tool I need to remind people. Christ blessed me with the Holy Spirit so that I may shine His light on the forgotten, ridiculed, and cursed. And this is the blessing in God’s wisdom; I don’t fight for the forgotten, the bad, and the evil, all on my own. I have the strength, grace, forgiveness, and wisdom of the Creator of heaven and earth on my side. When I come face to face with the foolish I am not overwhelmed by their personal strength in the darkness. It is up to me, it is my DUTY as a Christian, it is my VOW as a servant of Christ Jesus, to shine His light so bright that the darkness creeps back into the shadows. It is my place to bring a smile, or a laugh, or a tear stained hug to the people who are inching along, bound in the chains of the foolish. I will not forget them or the moments when they gave me wisdom.
They are not alone when they are forgotten. You are not alone when you are forgotten. I am not alone when I am forgotten. We are forgotten because He is forgotten. Our good deeds are looked over because His good deeds were ignored. Jesus was forgotten by His people. For a moment in time Jesus was also forgotten by his disciples. Christ forgave them for that moment. He forgave you for your moments before you even had them. Our Lord and Savior KNEW He would be forgotten by so many and He died for them, for you, and for me anyway.
Why? Because He loves us. Because we are that important to Him. Because we matter. Because He wants us. His love is that strong. His love is that intense. He didn’t die on the cross for recognition. He didn’t die on the cross for money. He didn’t endure torture to gain popularity. He did it out of love. He did it to save your soul and mine. Love, His love for us, was enough. Why can’t love be enough for us then?
I can’t count the number of times I did something nice not only because it was nice; but because I wanted recognition for it. I wanted something out of it. I am shamefully guilty of keeping a score card when it comes to wisdom, grace, and love. I have bitten my tongue in sharing Christ’s wisdom and love out of fear, and because others have wronged me. I have kept my peace concerning the wisdom of God’s word because I knew I would get nothing out of it except ridicule, spite, and cruelty. I have kept myself in the shadows before because I knew I wouldn’t be remembered in a day or maybe even in an hour. And in all these cases it was about me. It was about how I felt, how I thought, and about my own forgottenness. It wasn’t about His love. It wasn’t about you, or how I could help you. It was about what I would get in return.
Life, love, mercy, grace, and wisdom shouldn’t come with our own personal price tags. God, in his mindboggling mercy, has given this to us for free. What right do I have to charge someone else for it? Who am I to make someone else pay for what my Savior has given me for free? I can’t care about whether my wisdom will be noticed or praised or recognized. All I should care about is that maybe someone will smile rather than frown. Maybe I will wipe a tear away rather than watching them flow. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll have been blessed with a moment to plant the seed of Truth and Love in the heart of someone who desperately needs it.