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Saturday, February 8, 2014

Humility and Wisdom

"When I came to you, brothers and sisters,..I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom...I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God." 1 Cor 2:1-5

Reading the letters and exhortations of St Paul leaves little doubt that Paul was a confident man who even seems arrogant at times. Whether the Apostle to the Gentiles came upon his confidence naturally or because of his conversion from persecutor of Christians to their leader is not the point. Because Paul knew that he was often filled with fear and conceit, either of which cover a multitude of sins, he is careful not to let his personal faults or strengths confuse his listeners. Paul wants his disciples to know that it is only the wisdom and power of God that moves people towards the good. Anything else can be a distraction.

The gospels assure us of this truth about the disciples of Jesus then and now, and remind us that we will know when God's power is at work by the fruits which the good works of Christians produce. Authentic faith produces compassion, understanding, insight, love and humility, and this last virtue is in many ways the first. Only when we submit ourselves to the simple truth that all our knowledge of God and faith is limited can we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord with the power of God. It was St Paul's humility that pushed him not to let his human wisdom no matter how profound get in the way of God's life within him or among his disciples. And it is humility that will help contemporary Christians remember that no matter how vast or insightful human knowledge is in the digital age, it pales when standing in the light of God's sovereignty and love.

Today, pray to see yourself as God's sees you: Beloved and limited.

How often have you learned a deeper truth when you let go of your opinion?

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