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Friday, September 29 2006

"Prudence means practical common sense, taking the trouble to think out what you are doing and what is likely to come of it.  Nowadays most people hardly think of Prudence as one of the 'virtues'.  In fact, because Christ said we could only get into His world by being like children, many Christians have the idea that, provided you are 'good', it does not matter being a fool.  But that is a misunderstanding.  In the first place, most children show plenty of 'prudence' about doing the things that they are really interested in, and think them out quite sensibly.  In the second place, as St Paul points out, Christ never meant that we were to remain children in intelligence: on the contrary.  He told us to be not only 'as harmless as doves', but also 'as wise as serpents'.  He wants a child's heart, but a grown-up's head."  Mere Christianity

The worst kind of foolishness is when one acts as a fool, with reckless abandon, toward a self-centered end.  Christ wants us to act as fools for him (1 Corinthians 4:10), with reckless abandon toward a godly end, giving him our all when it seems crazy in the world's eyes to do so.  No doubt, being a fool for Christ requires much prudence, much planning in the sense that the book of Proverbs talks about; "a prudent man gives thought to his steps" (Proverbs 14:15).  The Apostle Paul, who recommended being a fool for Christ, carefully planned out his missionary activities.  But Christ wants us to be uncalculating, childlike, spontaneously overflowing in our love toward God.  Christ wants us to love God with all our mind as well as all our heart.  And only the Holy Spirit can give us the proper balance between a child's heart and a grown-up's head. 

If we are going to love God totally with heart, mind, soul and strength, then we have to be willing to be seen as fools in the world's eyes--because right at the center of our faith is something which the world thinks very foolish indeed: Christ crucified.

"Where is the wise man?  Where is the scholar?  Where is the philosopher of this age?  Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.  Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.  For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength" (1 Corinthians 1:20-25).

O Triune God, help me to love you with all of my heart, all of my mind, all of my soul and all of my strength.  To follow you with reckless abandon may seem foolish to worldlings, but you have shown me that in reality it is the greatest prudence.  Help me to follow not the wisdom of this world, but the only wisdom that really counts in the long run--the wisdom of your Word.  Amen.

Posted by: Will Vaus AT 08:28 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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