"Wisdom Cries Out"

"Wisdom Cries Out"

Everything Has Context

“The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (Proverbs 18.17)

Interest groups, social movements and even the media encourage us to formulate opinions based on soundbites. Certainly, whoever shouts the loudest gets the most attention, but there are two sides to every story. Everything has context. When only the first opinion is considered, there is a tendency to skew information to fit a paradigm rather than promote reality.

We must recognize when there is imbalanced or limited information, and not proceed to make hasty decisions. Someone’s fervid position may give the appearance of “truth” until it is set in context with others. 

Consider the events of Acts 15. Paul and Barnabas taught that circumcision wasn’t necessary. The Jews contended it was imperative (Acts 15.1). The disagreement was sharp and divisive (Acts 15.2). So, they met in Jerusalem to hash it out. Paul gives his defense, as does Peter and others. At the end, James concludes with an informed decision (Acts 15.13-21), that promoted harmony among all involved. 

Careful consideration of multiple sources can seem impractical in a tense moment. Without it, however, we are prone to impulse and contention with those of other perspectives. Sounder, more centered opinions are formed when we are “quick to hear and slow to speak” (James 1.19).

Hasty conclusions are rarely beneficial. Solomon models wisdom in his conclusion on the purpose of life: “the end of the matter; all has been heard.” (Ecclesiastes 12.13a). Could it be said of your decisions that all has been heard?