The Beginning Of Wisdom - Centered By Fear

Youth Sunday School Lesson - 12/13/09

A young lady once told me many years ago that I was one of the most ‘centered’ persons she had ever known. And she meant her words as a compliment to me. Although looking back through the stained glass of time I can understand why she would have noted that quality in my lifestyle; I can also see where she was wrong by her assumption. I’m notably high-strung and have always been slanted that way. I worry about things I have no business worrying about, and have a tendency to be outright cynical much too often. When I am honest I will admit I can display a grating personality to others. I overachieve on some days and catch myself underachieving at other times. No, I am not perfect by any measure and if there is an emotional ‘center’ to my personality I have yet to command it.

For the past few years, since the turning of the clock pushed me beyond the age of forty, I have sought to find a physical center to my life. I’ve spent hours in the gym, every day at lunch, (usually!) seeking to control my health and well-being. Let’s face it - I strive to avoid sickness and poor health because I have an abject fear of doctors and hospitals in general. I have not been totally successful with my exercise routine, and I’ve yet to find a center to my life in the area of staying physically fit.

But I don’t sweat it either way. It is very rare to find someone that has found a complete emotional or physical center to their lives. Usually when one reaches a state of being centered in one area they will lose their center in the other. We are humans, frail creatures in a world that is apparently out to get us. Seriously.

Yet there is an area where I can find my center and when I do so, the rewards far outweigh the low-hanging fruit associated with finding an emotional or physical center to my life. I’m speaking of becoming spiritually centered in my heart, which is far more important than in any other area. It is in this area where I feel the most secure, and work hardest at staying that way.

Paul writes: “For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

According to these verses, there is a vital need in our hearts to become centered spiritually, whether we will admit it to ourselves or not. The lessons God would have us understand are not learned through the things of the physical world. By our own world-centered wisdom, in other words, we cannot learn the lessons of God. The world and its logic only teaches us that the great matters of eternity are foolishness, and it is not by accident when it happens that way. God wants us to believe in Him, and that is His perfect plan for all of us.

If there was a way to gain all of the knowledge of God we'll ever need merely by our own observations, we would no longer need a faith in God. According to many people today, it may seem as though faith is a weakness while knowledge (science) is the stronger option. The opposite is true when you think about it. Paul penned these words two-thousand years ago, and many of the scientific things the men of his time held up to be factual have long since been proven false. What we hold as facts today based on science and technology can and probably will be considered foolishness when our own tomorrow comes around. Meanwhile, the truth we believe by our faith in Jesus Christ will still be the truth throughout eternity. It has not changed since Paul’s time and it never will. Read this paragraph again – it is the gist of what we will be talking about in class!

Emotionally centered in my life? I’m trying. Physically centered? Age is taking care of that one for me. Spiritually centered? That is the one goal I should always strive for. It pays the best dividends.

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