From Knowledge to Wisdom

Facts are things that abound in this Information Age. Knowledge has increased through technology and our ability to accumulate, analyze and even compare facts enables us to build an edifice that is more toward wisdom. Do you know the difference between knowledge and wisdom? One of Virginia Tech’s slogans (the slogan of many other Universities too) has been, “Virginia Tech: A University putting knowledge to work.” Knowledge is a necessary step if one desires to be wise, however, knowledge does not guarantee wisdom. If we hope to be wise and prevent another Tragedy such as the 04-16-07 Virginia Tech Massacre, then we had best be certain that we are putting the knowledge and awareness after the Tragedy to work.

Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge; it is putting knowledge to work in a way that best corresponds to the Creation. The Bible makes it clear that accumulating knowledge is not enough to help us succeed or better our lives and help others. Knowledge must be applied and to be wise it must be applied properly. As noted in a previous post, Proverbs 1:7 says that “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” and Proverbs 9:10 says it is also the “beginning of wisdom.” Having an awesome respect of who GOD is and what HE can do is the foundation for all of life, and particularly if one hopes to truly be wise (the TOP lesson in my “Top Ten” Lessons tabbed above)..

Political knowledge will not make one wise. Getting the news through the media will not make one wise. All the good knowledge being taught through our educational institutions will not make us wise, and applying only some knowledge will not protect you enough from tragedy. Many do not understand the wisdom that is from above (c.f. James 3:17). If the wisdom that you have (and I trust you have some) is only earthly wisdom (c.f. James 3:13-15), then you are in trouble and not really very wise at all!

Plain Talk about Mental Illness

There has been a lot of discussion about Mental illness since the 04-16-07 Virginia Tech shootings.  So much so in Virginia that the House and Senate Legislature unanimously passed a series of mental health reforms, which Governor Kaine recently signed into Virginia law.  Nearly $42 million was budgeted to implement these mental health reforms!  Will these reforms and all this additional money really help fill the cracks exposed in the mental health system?  Mental Health is an important subject and the VT Tragedy exposes some of the weaknesses of the current system (I know many of these weaknesses experientially, as I was involuntarily caught up in the system after the VT Tragedy).

 

One question that I have thought much about is what exactly is mental illness?  Who determines when one is mentally ill?  This is not an exact science.  In fact, while they can test levels of chemicals in the blood, they cannot yet test chemical levels in the brain.  To say that one is chemically imbalanced in their mind is supposition, largely based on behavior.  When you have a sudden change of emotion, certain chemicals in the body are released, which make your body chemicals imbalanced from their norm.  Women go through particular hormonal cycles each month and the chemicals in their body are different at times from what is even “normal” for them.  Children and teenagers certainly are affected by hormonal changes and a range of variance in chemicals as they grow toward maturity and adulthood.  Not much is really understood about how these chemical changes seen in the blood actually affect the chemical levels in the brain.

 

Going back to the question of how to define “mental illness,” might one say that to think improperly is to think in a sick way?  What if a person thinks in an “improper” way for any length of time?  In fact, how do we even know what is the “right way” to think?  How many times have you heard someone say, “You’re crazy!”?  This is a common response when someone offers a thought that is different from what is understood by the group or accepted by others.  Is not this like saying that someone is “mentally ill?”

 

Now with this perspective, when a professional psychologist or psychiatrist disagrees with a person’s thinking, might they then go on to say “they are mentally ill?”  Should their opinion be accepted because they have this professional position?  I can speak to this directly.  I was said to be mentally ill and labeled, “psychotic” (among other things), then legally forced to take “anti-psychotic” drugs (with many potentially severe known side-effects).  This was despite a rationality and consistency in what I said and with many nurses saying that my behavior was “completely appropriate.”  The diagnosis given to me was largely based on my religious speaking.  Many who are struggling mentally do say religious things (often clearly out of touch with reality).  I was not doing this, though I was expressing religious truth from Scripture.  Thankfully, I do have a copy of the medical records that show all I am saying to be true.  I also have a personal journal from this time.

 

From a biblical perspective, we all have a problem with improper thinking.  The mind is even effected by sin (theologically, this is called the “noetic” effect of sin).  From my Christian perspective, the only way we can think properly is to think biblically.  We must think the way the Bible plainly and systematically teaches us to think.  This means our thinking would be consistent and correspond to the reality of God’s Creation.  Consider Philippians 4:8.  This is true “free-thinking!”

 

Be warned, reader.  When you think this way, many will call you crazy!

I KNOW a Secret…

There is a secret contained on this website that many have never learned. This is a secret drawn from the wisdom of the ages; a secret that would revolutionize the life of any person who would apply this knowledge. Application of this secret would have prevented the Virginia Tech Tragedy! It is a secret that will help you in any situation you face. It is the core lesson from the “Top Ten” I have listed on this site.

This secret is “the beginning of knowledge” (Proverbs 1:7) and the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10); It will give you “strong confidence” (Proverbs 14:26) and is “a fountain of life” (Proverbs 14:27). Properly understood, it will remove every worry and fear that you struggle with in life. Even if you think you know this secret, it is possible to grow in understanding and applying it to life.

I will write more about this in the upcoming book and illustrate more of what I mean. For now, consider Psalm 25:14 and how well you understand this secret Truth that many never fully come to understand:

“The SECRET of the LORD is with those who FEAR HIM!”

It is ALL about CONTROL!

Every situation you are in, every problem in life, every tragedy you face is all about CONTROL! It is about who or what is in control of how things will effect you and about whether you will be in control or yield to outside forces. Having CONTROL of something means you can manage it the way you want. Just as has been noted in previous blogs, we know that there are many things in life that we CANNOT CONTROL. Take for instance the tragedy of tornadoes that impact many people, especially during the transition of seasonal changes. People in southeastern Virginia know first hand about this from the recent devastation of tornadoes that blew through there this past Monday.

Christians believe (as do people of other faiths) that GOD is Sovereign, or IN ULTIMATE CONTOL, over everything. Sickness, problems and tragedies happen all throughout life, so the tendency is to question whether GOD is really powerful enough to be IN CONTROL, since HE is a GOD of LOVE and COMPASSION. Many seek to resolve this by resorting to a Deist philosophy that says HE just must not be that involved in HIS Creation. Others seek to elevate the power of evil or even change their understanding of GOD (by saying HE doesn’t know things that haven’t happened yet in time [a view that is becoming more popular, often called “open Theism” or “Process Theology”] ).

GOD, however is a GOD who is outside of time (HE created time) and who is a GOD of ACTION (see my previous blog). Jesus said, when confronted by the religious leaders and His own people, that His Father was still working and He was working (c.f. John 5:16-18). GOD works and He also allows the effects of sin that came into the world (c.f. Genesis 3; Romans 5:12) to continue for a time until Jesus returns to the earth and eventually makes all things new. Even Satan is allowed to do some things (c.f. Job), though this fallen angel still has to report to GOD before doing anything. Satan is said to be the “god of this world” today (2 Corinthians 4:4), so he does maintain some limited control.

Maybe your parents control you; maybe it is your spouse. Maybe your boss controls you; maybe it is your house. Maybe it is some form of governmental position that is impacting your life. Whatever you allow to control you will, even if that is your own thinking or waves of emotion. If we learn the lessons from the tragedies that GOD allows in this fallen world, then we will recognize that we are at the mercies of this Holy and Loving GOD. We must yield to HIM and FEAR HIM Above ALL (the #1 Lesson of all lessons). Seung-Hui Cho did not learn this lesson. Instead, he sought to control things himself and acted out in terrible violence toward those around him. We must learn the lessons about Control! We must respect the authorities GOD has established. Take another look at my “Top Ten” Lessons above if you want to think about these things further (and look up the Scriptures).

Dear reader, will you yield yourself to the ONE who is in ULTIMATE CONTROL? The Bible says (Philippians 2:10-11) that one day everyone will willingly yield their will when faith becomes sight, so why not do so today so you can stop struggling against what you cannot control? Check out Romans 6:13-16!