Monday, December 27, 2010

Wisdom = Pain

"In much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain." Ecclesiastes 1:18

This statement is sad but true.

Think about it.

Look at a simple park playground. The children playing on the equipment are relatively naive and innocent. They do not understand or even consider the dangers of their adventure. Hanging upside down on the bars, they can't imagine losing their grip and the consequences of gravity to their tiny bodies. They climb the ladder to the slides without a care in the world. Oh, and you've seen those kids that swing as high as they can and then flip backwards out of their seat at the highest moment, only to land in a heap on the ground. Who in their right mind would do such a thing?

Because adults understand the big picture a bit better, because we have learned by experience and academics what gravity can do to a body, because our knowledge is greater than when we were children, we avoid playgrounds. You don't see parents hanging upside down or flipping off a swing. We also understand that there are dangers drawn to a park that we never want our children to experience, so instead of playing with abandon, we watch with careful, discerning eyes.

Because we know the evils of life...because we is a bit should I say this...enjoyable.

It's part of being an adult.

Some would testify to the same truth about marriage. You've all seen the starry-eyed bride lose her sparkle, as the increased knowledge of the choices she and her husband have made reveal the devastation they have created. Poor communication, too much spending, too much time on the internet, not enough foundation laying, no respect, no security...marriage in shambles.

"I thought marriage would be easier than what it turned out to be."

"He's not the man I thought he was."

"We grew apart."

Increased knowledge and wisdom brings sorrow. In other words, the more we understand the effects of sin, the more we realize that sin stinks. It messes up everything it touches.

But there is good news. Within the sorrows of life, God has chosen to reveal Himself to man, thereby giving us a way to have joy within the sorrow. Read it again: Joy WITHIN the sorrow.

Until we shed this flesh, sin will remain. Just because we know Christ, doesn't mean that our children are safe from predators. And just because we know Christ, doesn't mean that marriage is suddenly a breeze.

But it does mean that we can produce the fruits of the Spirit despite the sorrows of sin.

I think that if we can grasp this concept, then we won't expect something of God that He doesn't promise.

The author of Ecclesiastes concludes with this: "...fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person..." The only worth in life comes from a true relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

So, go ahead and increase in wisdom and knowledge, as well as obedience to the Lord. Then and only then will you be able to endure the sorrows and pain of life.


  1. What a woman—can write great blogs even when she's sick!

    This blog reminded me of my favorite point from Dad's sermon yesterday: the peace Christ brings doesn't mean you're going to have perfect circumstances; it means you'll have peace amid the storms of life. And I think you make a good point, too—we have joy within the sorrow because we KNOW God is faithful when we follow Him.

  2. We also need a good understanding of what JOY is. It is not necessarily happiness. Rather, it is a peace that passes understanding, a trust in the promises of our God, and a future hope that makes the present suffering endurable. Back again to the same theme of KNOWING God, and knowing our saviour, which comes through abiding in his word and communing with him in prayer. Thank you for the reminders, Kristen. Hope you are feeling better.