“Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ” –Colossians 2:8 (Msg).
One thing I see a fair bit of in life are the time wasting discussions about things that, in the overall scheme of things, don’t amount to much. And also some people seem trapped and destined for lives of worrying about such little things that don’t matter. They’re victims of reverse discernment i.e. discernment of the wrong things.
The things of God are plain for anyone who chooses to see. Yet, in every age there are stacks of false teachers ruminating truth out of context. And, oh, what a snare.
And this is never so more apparent in this day as in the world of email and blogging. It’s not so much the original views that are expressed per se, but the never-ending discussion threads that ensue. There’s a world of different views even two people might have in the context of one single point; making a point, and the back and forth nature of doing so, is often positively futile.
We’re better served to focus on thinking our own viewpoints through, expressing them well and only once, as well as considering fairly (and respecting) others’ viewpoints; learning that the irresolvables are just that--irresolvable.
Finding not fault but congruence and alignment in others’ reflections is one way to build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11), avoiding endless chatter about meaningless things.
This is a skill of wisdom in discerning when to engage and when to leave well enough alone, as I’m often surprised how ordinarily intelligent people can be dragged into events and issues with quite scant awareness for what they are.
It goes to show, there’s more to ‘intelligence’ than smarts and the academically-challenged person can easily jump the pack and live better, i.e. superiorly, to that of the so-called intelligently-blessed who can’t resist a good debate.
Practical, spiritually-based wisdom is the key. Discern well to redeem time.
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
I write this at the risk of an antithesis of exegesis, acknowledging that Paul wrote this section of Colossians in a different context (with regard to false teachers reinforcing human tradition at the expense of the Spiritual, under the New Covenant). My hope is the reader will read this with my admission of acknowledgement in mind.