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Blog: Tom Job

A note from Tom: March 25th

CCC Oak Ridge

Hey everyone!

Wow! What an awesome day! What a day to praise God’s goodness to us all! Sunshine, warmin’ up, $3,330 on their way to Compassion International Haiti from Triple C (Jesus turned water to wine and rummage to rice!), daffadils every where, tulips almost here, dogwood buds swellin’…what a day!

What a day to have joy in our heart! “Cept that…

Lots a people are super upset today!…Seems like all over our country folks everywhere REALLLLY disagree over what should or shouldn’t have been done about health-care. Much of it is complicated.

So much of this involves words…Words that I personally struggle to understand! Like…

the “public option”

“market-based exchanges”

insurance purchasing pools

the “Cadillac tax”

a “reconciliation bill”…

I may not be alone in trying to get my mind around these terms. I know there are really smart people who understand all these words.  But apparently many people are convinced that at least they know what all these words mean, because there is a lot of anger, bitterness, yelling, screaming, threatening, even spitting over these words (I read about congressmen who were spit on this week).  I know these issues are very serious. I know it’s important for us to try to understand these words. I know it’s our right to have our own heart-felt opinions about what they mean to each of us.

But to me it’s so sad that so many smart men and women can’t talk to each other about these problems in ways that seek to understand what is important to the other side. I don’t understand why smart people don’t try to understand each other better.

Another thing grieves me. I don’t remember a recent time when our country was so full of anger, bitterness, hurtfulness and hate.

Maybe being smart isn’t the same as being wise. Maybe smart people don’t know words that wise people know.

The Letter of James is full of words about “wisdom” …what it is…what wise people are like. No matter where people stand on these difficult questions, there are words that only wise people know. Check it out. Really. Read this slowly…how many wise people do you know?

(James 3:13-18) “(13) Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But (14) if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.

(15) Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven… (16) For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

(17) But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. (18) Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”

That Scripture is full of lots of words wise people need to know!

Ready for a vocab lesson? Pencils ready?

If you have…(verse 14) “bitter evil”- (Greek) “zelon pikron”…zeal or passion that leaves a hurtful bitterness, a bitter taste…

“selfish ambition” (Greek) “erithea”…(according to A.T. Robertson, Baptist scholar 1863-1934) ” a pushing forward for personal ends, partisanship…”

That kind of attitude leads to (verse 16)”…disorder…” (Greek) “akatastasia”,  “a state of disorder, confusion…”

Sound familiar?

Here’s what God’s wisdom looks like…No matter where you stand on the issues, according to God, wise people stand like this. Wisdom is (and wise people are)…

“peacable” (Greek) “ereinike”…” loving peace… bringing peace…”

“considerate, gentle”…(Greek) “epieike”…kind, gentle, sweet, reasonable, meek, fair…”

“submissive”…(Greek) “eupeithe”…”easily persuadable, approachable, compliant, good at listening, not a ‘know-it-all’…”

“merciful”…(Greek) “eleou”…”full of mercy, doing good…”

James adds that wise people are “peace-makers who sow seeds of peace…”

Sure wish more people knew those words!

Wish there were more wise people around!

Wish we could all have our opinions…firm, strong opinions…but with Jesus’s peace-ableness, meekness, gentleness, sweetness, approachableness, mercifulness…

It’s tough to do. Maybe only those who know Jesus CAN do this. I know that those who love Jesus SHOULD do this.

Wisdom. Let it start with those who love the Prince of Prince, Who is “meek and lowly of heart”.

Let it start with us!

“Sowing seeds of peace”…What a beautiful spring day for that!