Jealousy Skews Our Memory
I have observed that this also is wisdom under the sun, and it is significant to me: There was a small city with few men in it. A great king came against it, surrounded it, and built large siege works against it. Now a poor wise man was found in the city, and he delivered the city by his wisdom. Yet no one remembered that poor man. And I said, “Wisdom is better than strength, but the wisdom of the poor man is despised, and his words are not heeded.” The calm words of the wise are heeded more than the shouts of a ruler over fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much good. Eccl 9:13-18 (HCSB)
We call them geeks, nerds, even eggheads, but our lives are better because of those who have the gift of wisdom. We are jealous of their unique gifts, yet all benefit from their impact upon our lives. However, our selfishness fails to appreciate them enough to remember or, at the least, acknowledge their accomplishments.
In the above passage, a single insignificant, behind-the-scenes, wise geek finds a way to defeat the enemy who laid siege to his city. The victory went to the small city, thanks to this geek, but no one acknowledged his contribution to the victory. He was quickly forgotten as the people went back to self-focused living.
Wisdom cannot be bought or created by human endeavor. Either you have received the gift of wisdom from God or you rely upon the wisdom of God from others who have the gift. Such reliance upon others though causes us to be resentful and jealous. But we all should be warned: It only takes one wicked, thoughtless person to wreck the good deeds of the wise.
Why do we envy what God has obviously dispensed for his greater good to be accomplished? When we resent and reject those with such talents, aren’t we mocking God? When a gifted person crosses our path are we thankful for the opportunity, or jealous that we cannot be as gifted?
Examine yourself and everyone around you. Discover the mosaic collage of uniquely talented and gifted people that God has provided to complement your shortcomings and strengths. No one person is fully capable of having all the gifts and talents to survive in this world alone. We all need to rely upon others to be successful in this lifetime. Do not be jealous of what others have, but discover your own giftedness and give freely of what you have to others, as they should likewise do. Seek God’s will, ways, and wisdom and discover how God desires to use you to continue to build his kingdom on earth. Will you choose to connect and collaborate, or turn others away and stumble through life on your own?
Words of Wisdom #248-32EC
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