One.Life 8. Wisdom.Life

In chapter 7 of One.Life: Jesus Calls, We Follow, Scot turns to Wisdom and its place within the kingdom of God.

McKnight’s big concern in this book is to ‘earth’ what it means to follow Jesus in everyday life.

Scot draws 7 wisdom lessons from Jesus that all his followers would do well to learn as they seek to follow him: {most of these are summarised in my words}

1.       ‘Orient each day toward God’ – ‘The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ (Prov. 1:9). Meaning awe, reverence for that leads to beginning and ending your day with a consciousness of God. He doesn’t go into the ‘how’ – could be via a multitude of methods from a daily set prayers to the traditional evangelical quiet time of Bible reading and prayer.

2.       Ask ‘What is the wise thing to do?’ every day until it becomes habit. Honest questioning probes our desires and ambitions and helps us make good decisions.

3.       Daily kingdom living: wisdom is expressed in small things. Daily faithfulness, obedience, trustworthiness (Scot doesn’t use these words). Wisdom is not urgently chasing the big dramatic dream and expecting immediate success. It is found in daily kingdom living through which God can do great things. This is Jesus’ way, it is to be his followers’ way too.

4.       Start where you are: This is similar to 3. Start small and see where it goes. If you want to be a pastor, don’t wait to be ‘qualified’ – but ask who are you pastoring now? Let the qualification come from gifting and call and steps into ministry, rather than the other way around. Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed is in mind here.

5.       Live in the here and now: do not live in an idealised imagined future filled with imaginary success, achievements and people. Don’t pass people by; live in the here and now. Love your neighbours, get to know your work colleagues, make time and space for people in everyday life. The parable of the Good Samaritan is a reminder our neighbour is whoever crosses our path in daily life.

6.       Wisdom.Life is shaped by the Golden Rule: ‘Do to others what you want done to you’. If we are wise we will find that it is by loving and serving others that we find ourselves. This sounds nice but it is a tough calling that includes enemies (next point).

7.        In the kingdom of God, disciples are love and pray for their enemies (Mt 5:44-5). A good quote here, “Jesus did the wise thing when he told his followers to love their enemies and sacrifice the temporary, unsustainable thrill of hatred on the altar of enemy-love.” Such revolutionary love speaks of another way, another kingdom.

Scot offers some practical advice: if Christian wisdom is a lived well and that is a sort of life you are seeking, go and find mentors – people who are wise. Spend time with them, do what they advise and be open to learn.


3 thoughts on “One.Life 8. Wisdom.Life

  1. Very good advice. The bit that caught my eye was the last one, advicing young people to look for mentors. This is an area that I feel the older generation, like mine, needs to be challenged. Some of us feel that once we reached certain age that our role somehow has diminished, I do feel that we are the ones who should be seeking who we are going to mentor, to whom we are going to pass the “little” wisdom we have gained, with whom we are going to walk and listen to their dreams and struggles, to let them know they are not on venturing on their own.

  2. Hi Paul, Ana.
    I liked the daily life emphasis. Preaching and teaching can sometimes be for the (very few) rather than the many who are living out their Chrisitan lives in the midst of changing nappies, paying bills, cooking dinner, or trying to find a job.

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