In the book of Proverbs we read, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom." It is very evident that this wisdom which we are so urgently advised to seek after cannot be the wisdom of this world, which at best is mere prudence and caution dictated by selfish desire,—the "every man for himself" policy,—and which at its worst is "earthly, sensual, devilish."

The Old Testament sage exhorts us to buy wisdom, "and sell it not," while a New Testament writer tells us to ask it of God, who "giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not." The mistake nearly all of us make is to ask of men and then receive more upbraiding than wisdom, or at most advice and human opinion, which, however well meant and however well suited to the giver, may not fit the receiver. Methods, like clothes, have to be suited to the individual. There are no two human experiences exactly alike, and what has been a good plan for one might mean misery and failure for another. Only divine Love can adjust each life to the perfect balance and proportion it should have.

The epistle of James gives a very thorough analysis of heavenly wisdom. To begin with, it is pure, and then peaceloving. This does not mean that it is wise to be a slacker. Those who have gained the securest foundation of purity are needed where this concept is most vigorously assailed, that their right thinking may protect their comrades and hold them up to a higher moral standard. The peace most to be desired is a peace of mind which may best be found by those who are willing to fight if necessary to protect the weak and oppressed and defend a high ideal. The desire for self-preservation which would make one shirk danger and sacrifice and let the burden fall on others, is the wisdom of this world. It is not, however, necessary to develop harsh and vengeful qualities, for the apostle goes on to tell us that wisdom is gentle, and it was prophesied of old that true greatness should come through gentleness. Though it seems necessary to use force when no other argument will be listened to, we know that in the end it will be found that, as our Leader has said in Science and Health (p. 225), "Love is the liberator."

Daily Prayer
February 23, 1918

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