Wisdom, Strength and Beauty.
These are characteristics of men and women that are valued, advertised, bought and sold for a price. A man can buy himself wisdom from a university, or from becoming an apprentice in his trade or craft – by offering money, or time in servitude, or loyalty and honor. A man can buy himself strength in exercise and training regiments or in the many contrived and created potions of the amazing advances in medical science which continue to manipulate with greater and greater precision the resources of this world to the benefit of those that can afford it. We can buy ourselves beauty in the expensive garments and coverings and scents that we mask ourselves in, or under the hand of the knife that cuts and alters our bodies under the skillful hand of those trained in such things.
You see, all of these three (Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty) come at a price, and all of the three are but temporary and do not last. Have you not seen a man old in his years that was once bright and brilliant and firm of mind, but whose mind is now but a shadow of what was before? Have you not seen that same man old in his years who is weak and feeble and no longer firm of body and the strength that he once possessed? And whether it is easier to discuss as an old man or as a woman, does experience not confirm for you that beauty disappears with age?
But in all these things, we have been speaking of outward things, of things of the physical world, of this of the flesh. And since the flesh just like this temporary world has its eventual end, it should not surprise is that these things are temporary when we are speaking from a purely human perspective. But what if instead, we decided to speak of these same things from a spiritual and God centered perspective?
Hope, Faith, and Love.
If I decide to talk about spiritual wisdom, and enlightenment about heavenly things and the ways of God, I cannot learn these things through the normal ways of education and study. This type of illumination, when true and not falsified, is given by God. It is revealed, not learned, because these things are of the Spirit and the heart and not of the mind. So this heavenly Wisdom is found in Hope, not in our own striving or studying. And it is the type of wisdom that God can impart just as powerfully to the simpleton as to the learned, proving that He is not a resource of titles or positions or persons. In fact, it is the fear of God when found, that demonstrates to us or need for such spiritual wisdom and guidance. And it is His response to our asking, knocking and seeking that unveils us to His truths.
And if I am talking about spiritual strength, it is clear that this is Faith in God, because without his ordain in it and allowing it, I have no spiritual power or authority over things in that realm of existence. In fact, even to perceive and discern the goings on of the spiritual from just the visible evidence in the world around us requires a great deal of faith – as we dismiss the concepts of irrefutable logical progression and cause and effect and open our minds to the possibilities of miracles, signs, wonders and influences outside of our comfortable control.
And finally, if we are talking of inward beauty, spiritual beauty, we must be talking about love – that pure, undefiled measure of love that is full of things like joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control.
And can’t we agree that when comparing the parallels between the temporary and physical nature of the first three to the eternal and spiritual nature of the other three that it becomes quickly evident which set is more valuable? Or do you believe that I’ve made a leap in logic in assuming that the spiritual is eternal?
Yes, this could be an argument in and of itself but do you not agree that Hope does not weaken with age but that those who have caught hold of hope and faith in their lives, that it is the very thing they grasp hold of most firmly at the end and that provides them a peace and readiness to move on to what lies ahead? And can we agree that the love that is poured out of these people’s words, actions, and service to others lives on after them as it is planned and grows and continues spreading as a result of their life’s example?
Then I wonder how often we decide to chase after the lesser, temporary things of this world, while giving up on the greater blessings? I wonder how often we are more interested in those things that we can strive for and buy for ourselves? I wonder how often we short change ourselves by settling for something less than the gifts and blessings and riches of God’s glory that He has in store for His children.
So let’s trade in our Wisdom, Strength, and Beauty – for His Hope, Faith, and Love.
God bless, dear friends.