WISDOM AND WORLDLY WISDOM
God invites us to be holy: "Be holy as
your heavenly Father is holy." But holiness can only be attained
with Divine wisdom. And Divine wisdom is a gift given only to the
St. Paul warns us: "Let no one deceive
himself. . .if any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him
become a fool, that he may become wise." God's wisdom and man's
wisdom are opposites. For man, if you wish to be first, you must strive to
be first. With God, if you wish to be first, you must strive to be last.
The wisdom of God is "foolish" in
the eyes of man; but the wisdom of man is useless in the eyes of God. To be
wise in God's eyes, we must look down on the wisdom of the world and be
persuaded that it contributes nothing towards comprehension of the Faith,
salvation of souls and attainment of true happiness.
Thus, the wisdom of God tells us that
poverty is the way to true wealth; that lowliness is the cause of exaltation
and to despise glory is the cause of glory.
To put our trust even on a little
human wisdom is like putting a few spoilt fruits in a basket; they spoil all
the rest. Divine wisdom demands that we put away all human wisdom, thus
making our souls clear so He can write whatever He wishes on it. So those
with very poor eyesight must shut their eyes completely and commit
themselves to others completely. But if they keep on trusting their own poor
eyesight, they will commit even more mistakes than the blind.
Never act based on the wisdom of the world;
urgently withdraw yourself from it. "For the wisdom of this world is
foolishness with God." It not only contributes nothing but it even
hinders. Instead of not purifying us, it becomes an opponent.
The world uses its wisdom in doing away
with the need of God. But God loves to show such men that they precisely
need God. Such who behave as if they do not need God behave as if they were
the most ignorant of men. "I will destroy their wisdom." "God
knows the reasoning of men and they are vain."
St. John Chrysostom, "On 1 Cor."