Morning Musings: Ecclesiastes 9:17

“The words of the wise heard in quiet are better than the shouting of a ruler among fools.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

In spite of all his railing against the inherent unfairness of life in that wisdom doesn’t lead to an end different from a life of folly, Solomon nonetheless settles on the value of wisdom.  

In our culture, wisdom doesn’t get a very high place.  Oh, it does in theory, but in practice…not so much.  In practice, power is the main thing people want.  And the kind of power that is the prize of our culture is to have authority over other people.  This power is often expressed loudly and angrily.  It demands.  It forces.  It insists on its own way at the expense of others.  It holds others down and demeans their work and value.

Wisdom is something different.  Wisdom has a power to it for sure, but it is a different kind of power.  The power of wisdom is the power to convince by argument and reason.  It is the power to sway hearts and change minds.  It is the power to whisper a few words and alter the direction of an entire ship.  It does not need flashy displays to make its point.  It uses strength always measured to the situation it is in.  It does not shout and demand, but speaks evenly and leads by serving humbly.

This approach is better than the empty power our culture values every single time.  Its fruits are sweeter.  Its rewards more satisfying.  If you want to have the power to truly transform your world, wisdom is the way to go.

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