April 24, 2018
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 24 April 2018
Wisdom is the only virtue that will guide you through life. A person may be attractive, proficient, and talented, yet if he or she is not able to recognize the sovereignty of God, the devotion to seek his will, and the humility to bring Him honor, they will conclude their lives as failures due to a lack of wisdom. One of the greatest lessons to learn early is that life is weighted, and thus devastation can result if one does not possess the ability to make important decisions. Indeed, it is averaged that momentous conclusions are decided approximately five or six times in a lifetime, and it is in those moments that we will either ascend to greater efficiency or bring devastation and ruin into our lives.
Many tasks considered “a very little thing” could have a tremendous impact for either positive or negative effects (cf. Luke 16:10). Those who are impressed with colossal and dramatic results need to be reminded that it is the modest and obscure tasks that can advance or demote people. Every wise artist, athlete, doctor, or person in any fieldwork knows that countless hours of practice and preparation are indispensable to excel. Wise decisions do not arise from innate ability; rather, they are realized when recognizing the supremacy of God, learning from his holy and inspired Word, and submitting oneself to Him. Such actions are what Ecclesiastes 10 calls wisdom.
Ecclesiastes 10 pleads with us to demonstrate wisdom as we enjoy our families, our life, and our work; it does so by telling us, “Dead flies make a perfumer’s oil stink,” which is similar to a declaration in 1 Corinthians 5:6 that a little leaven certainly can affect the whole lump. A dynamic and exceptional life necessitates that we prioritize the mundane activities and routine behaviors that are accomplished in anonymity. Indeed, the consistency between our actions in private – in obscurity – with that in public demonstrates a life of integrity (or lack thereof, if there is contradiction). Doing something in secret that we cannot admit in public is the very definition of hypocrisy, and such insincerity forces a person to lie. Be assured that what is done in private ultimately determines the person whom we present in public.
Authentically devoting “all diligence” to our public and private life results in a balanced, dependable, and joyful life (cf. Prov 4:23; 2 Pet 1:5-11), yet neglecting such discipline will eventually fracture a person spiritually, which is one reason why many gifted individuals compromise their reputations. They give too much emphasis to public matters such as speaking and writing, and do not diligently guard their own heart (cf. 1 Tim 4:16). Whenever Bible study, fellowship among fellow believers, and prayer are neglected, it will eventually have a negative impact upon one’s body, mind, and soul.
Foolishness is a weakness that does not remain within the deep recesses of the heart because what is embedded there will become evident. Fools will always demonstrate by their behavior that they do not possess wisdom (Eccl 10:3, “Even when the fool walks along the road, his sense is lacking and he demonstrates to everyone that he is a fool”). Proverbs 13:20 exhorts, “He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Even something as apparently minuscule as losing one’s composure can have devastating ramifications (Eccl 10:4, “If the ruler’s temper rise against you, do not abandon your position, because composure allays great offenses”), yet if you respond with composure to an outburst, it can influence others to realize the error of their position.
Guarding your heart proves wisdom, while the fool’s speech is destructive (Matt 12:36, “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment”). Ecclesiastes 10 compels us to ask ourselves, “Are there any ‘dead flies’ that need to be removed from the perfume of our life”? While it is easy to downplay the significance of “little tasks,” they can determine the course of our life. Make it a priority not to allow the urgent to hinder the important, such as the spiritual disciplines of Christian fellowship, prayer, and Bible study.
REMINDER: the Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Studyis next Tuesday, 1st of MayRoom 123 CAP, Georgia Capitol, @ 12 Noon