Friday, 21 October 2011

Of wisdom and weapons

Wisdom is better than weapons of war; but one sinner destroys much good." – Ecclesiastes 9v18

‘Might makes right!’ is one of those common adages that we use all the time without really thinking about it. Well, might may not always make right, but might sure seems to work.

Might does often win. The second half of the verse makes that clear. One sinner can destroy much good with those weapons of war. When we look at history we look at what wicked men have done with the power of their weapons of war. Weapons of war may accomplish their goals and do what we want, but that certainly does not make them right.

Wisdom, however, is better than weapons of war because wisdom deals with the issues, not just the circumstance.

We can find an example right here on this little island. The people of Ireland, north and south, have certainly seen their share of troubles. Conflict has been a way of life here for centuries. The 1970s-1990s were especially volatile when weapons of war became the preferred method to try and sort out the differences. Thousands were injured or killed, yet things just got worse.

Finally, by the mid-90s, people on both sides had enough. Weapons were not working so people were finally ready to try wisdom. It wasn’t easy, but sides began to lay down their arms and talk. By 1998 a general consensus was reached and we have been living in relative peace and safety ever since.

So what is our lesson from this? We can sometimes be caught in the trap of thinking that we are strong and forceful and bully enough we can have our way and force our way of thinking on the world around us. Weapons don’t have to be guns and bullets. Our weapons are more often words and attitudes and demeanour. While they may accomplish a goal, they don’t fix the situation.

That is not the way to do it. God’s way is to use godly wisdom to accomplish our goals and achieve our tasks. May God give us the wisdom to use wisdom instead of weapons. 

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