Thursday, July 8, 2010

Embracing Opportunity in the Midst of Crisis

“The real task is to be prophetic, not pedantic; to search for contradictions that matter—and matter not to us but to the people we are engaging.”

~Os Guinness.

We live in the midst of crisis. And this statement is not just hatched in the context of the 21st Century—it’s relevant to any age, for there’s nothing new regarding the features of humanity’s ‘reign,’ i.e. the use and abuse of this planet, since the Fall was propagated via the disobedience of Adam and Eve.

The relevance here, however, is personal.

To make the right sort of difference in life—a loving difference for God—requires us to bond adherently to truth, despite ourselves.

Where we don’t make a pact with and for the truth, we blaspheme life and the Life Force behind it all.

Postmodernism Isn’t the First Horror Against Truth

Guinness points out in his book, Time for Truth, that G.K. Chesterton encountered a very similar world to ours—one estranged to the truth—as a young student in the early 1890s; a world “swirling with decadence, cynicism, and pessimism.”[1]

I’m still horribly amazed at how grating some so-called learned people are in the application of their wisdom (for it is not God’s). These profane the privilege of knowledge, using it arrogantly and negatively—against the very people they’re intended to bless by their wisdom.

God always intends we use our wisdom to serve others. That’s primary. To serve others is to serve God.

But, some separatist people take great delight in bestowing upon others only the vitriol their dark-hearted learnedness affords. A little bit of knowledge is hence dangerous—it’s used by childish and hurt hands; hands not happy or acquainted with the truth. In this way, they use their gift against God, and inevitably against themselves also. It spins back and smacks them on their own faces.

This is never more evidently seen than in their blindly tepid misery by which they’re known; unhappy and unfriendly they generally are—for they bless no-one, least of which themselves.

Truth Bridges the Gap and Must Come First

Learnedness and blessedness are two separate entities that can at once be enjoined, but truth must be embraced—against the current and predilection of any human age—for it to occur.

The motives at the heart level are antecedent to the proper course of wisdom.

Honing In On the Right Contradictions

Differences exist in contradiction, but it takes a Spirit-indwelt wisdom to divine the right contradictions to take notice of and hence respond to—the devil’s playground is the rest. The ‘how’ of response is only then explored after the wheat is sorted first from the chaff.

Lying awake—encapsulating the embraceable contradiction—in any age, is the idea of attaching firstly to truth, conforming the heart in alignment with eternity, and being forever obedient beyond the self. This is truth.

It’s a very simple thing. Only those who love the truth can ever act in wisdom, for they know the way; it’s through loving others in ways that make key differences.

These are the prophetic people of any age; they pass over the pedantic contradictions which only proffer annoyance, only choosing contradictions known to truly betray life within their actual circle of influence.

To these they conspire, pursue, initiate and respond—with committedness second to none. This is the crisis to which their lives attend.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

[1] Os Guinness, Time for Truth – Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype, & Spin (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), p. 93.


  1. Love it... Sometimes the wisest are not the most learned people, they are the most passionate and/or compassionate people; this wisdom is provided with the love that is given from above and displayed.

  2. Oh Shawn, I cannot help but agree. Those most in 'Communion' with the Spirit will inevitably have the most unconventional though God-blessed wisdom. Per early 1 Corinthians this is far beyond the thought of those considered wise here in our midst.


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