"Do you want to be counted wise, to build a reputation for wisdom? Here’s what you do: Live well, live wisely, live humbly. It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom. Boasting that you are wise isn’t wisdom. Twisting the truth to make yourselves sound wise isn’t wisdom. It’s the furthest thing from wisdom—it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Whenever you’re trying to look better than others or get the better of others, things fall apart and everyone ends up at the others’ throats.
Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor."
Three things jump out at me and challenge me in this scripture. "It’s the way you live, not the way you talk, that counts." The old adage of actions speak louder than words echoes in this verse. I often think more highly of myself in my head than how I live. The reminder here is to guard against that type of thinking. What does a holy life look like? It is "characterized by getting along with others." It can be difficult at times because other people can be difficult, and so can I. Finally, we are reminded that healthy community is a result occurs "...only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other..."
We need to treat others with respect and common decency. It is hard work, but it is how we are told we should act. Let's reflect God’s wisdom and not our own, and I think we can answer the Mr. King's question with, "It is possible."
Written by Chip Kelly
Territorial Lay Leader
Development Bureau Director