The wisest people I know are good listeners. They listen more than they talk. They are well read. They glean ideas from many people. They are not imprisoned by some misrepresentation that has stuck to them like bubble-gum from their youth and they are known for their astuteness. They are less exponents of their own ideas and more purveyors of the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Above all they are gracious people.
BOORISH BEHAVIOR I found these lines in The Guardian recently. They come from a piece on bullying men by Jessica Valenti. She writes, 'When men talk over everyone else in a room*, we call it confidence rather than entitlement. If they berate others in meetings, we call them powerful and passionate, not bullying ... There’s nothing illegal [she notes] about being a boor or a sexist jerk. You can’t fire someone for being an asshole. But you can notice particular kinds of bad behaviour and flag them as a problem, rather than a boon, for a man’s career.’
A paucity of ideas, a fixation on the old because it is old, black and white thinking, a fridge full of rotting ideas, and a penchant for reducing complexity to inane simplicities constitutes what appears to be wisdom by those who have spent a life-time not thinking deeply about anything but hanging on to their stuff. But their stuff is what anaesthetises them to fullness of life and leaves them molluscs in the rock pool of the status quo.
We can know the gospel, yet not know God.
In Rick Joyner’s vision of The Torch and the Sword we find Christians who are both blind and paralysed. They live from Christianity – but alas not from the Kingdom of God. They live from the status quo – which his not what Jesus began at all. His way is not a clever way of perpetuating the knowledge of good and evil with a godly bent. It is a radical change in which the pre-cross order is demolished and a new and living way is established.
UNION WITH GOD
This WAY is a life in God instead of a life in the knowledge of good and evil. N this vision, ‘The torch’ is the presence of God alive and active in the person and ‘the sword’ is the spoken word of authority whose authority is in Jesus and not as the scribes (promoters of religion). Joyner’s vision is really about our need to live in the reality of what heaven has accomplished on our behalf. This reality is not only Christ, not only Christ in us and not only the entire trinity in residence in our being. It is our very selves in residence in them!
BOORISHNESS AS A METHOD It would be wonderful to think that such behaviour cited above by Valenti belongs only to the corporate world, to school staff rooms or in church boards. Yet it can be heard from both sexes in any locale. I recall a senior suburban matron who talked a lot and who habitually talked over others. Graceless and bigoted she felt the need to crowd out opinions that were not her own. She lacked the sensitivity that comes from a sharp and open mind and also the protective inhibition that protects us from publicly advertising our ignorance. Not surprisingly she passed this on to those in her circle who made a name for themselves with similar boorishness and misplaced confidence in their misguided, perpetual utterances.
HUMILITY IS GOLDEN
Humility is not only next to Godliness. It’s the soil of intelligence and vision. Those who live as bores do not learn a lot. Yet they could if they dropped their need to appear to themselves as if they know everything. Yet bores are not always unintelligent or uneducated. They just have a g-clamp over their mind that stultifies their thinking and doing. Unfortunately, their confidence and naivety of Christian Consumers leads to their becoming blind leaders of the blind and both actually do fall into the ditch of godliness without power.
BEARERS OF DEATH I knew a church elder who acted out the negativities above. The drone of his voice was apparent as soon as you entered the church. He suffocated the thoughts of others with his own breath and limited the presence of God with his droll certainties. He was one of these elders who suffocated life on the altar of religion. The negative personality types cited here are not spiritual people. Religious yes, but not spiritual or in any way like those who became the first deacons because they were full of wisdom and the Holy Spirit. Boys and not men, carnal and not renewed, these rattling cans and marketers of conformity are clouds without rain who fog whole churches with confusion. They capture communities in perpetual drought and captivity to nothingness in the name of God. But there is a way out. People just need to start living in Christ and cease living in the things of Christ. Religion and churchianity is a shroud of death that stupefies people and makes them die before they are dead. It’s not complicated. Jesus really is our life – all life.