A Word to the Wise

A word to the wise is sufficient.

When I was the Assistant Training Principal of the USA East Training College, it was my task to make announcements during the weekly Assembly. Far too frequently for my taste it required words of warning or instruction regarding the requirements of community living (and often their violation). It was my custom to conclude such harsh words with the adage, “A word to the wise is sufficient.”

My use of this phrase was intended to convey my respect for these Christian brothers and sisters and their capacity to respond positively to my hard words.

I would like to believe that “a word to the wise” is STILL sufficient, that most of us value our health and the well-being of others enough to heed the cautions delivered in these trying times.

I said, “most of us. “ The truth is that not all are wise. In fact, the Biblical use of “wisdom” includes a moral/spiritual dimension. The word “wise” does not just mean perceptive in a worldly sense, but includes perception of spiritual values that are important to human interaction.

These times have taxed our wisdom. Our Corps are faced with unprecedented challenges that require more than intellect and experience to address. Wisdom is required.

Chapter 2 of Proverbs is an ode to wisdom. Verse 5 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” In I Corinthians 1:18-2:16, Paul presents a treatise on wisdom and foolishness, concluding with this powerful statement: “we have the mind of Christ.”

I suggest that the enforced immobility of the COVID crisis permits us to dive deeper into the mind of Christ through Scripture, prayer, and devotional literature.

Few of us have any practical counsel for the extraordinary challenges faced by Corps Officers today, other than this – seek the mind of Christ.

A word to the wise is sufficient.

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