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They Won't Understand

Posted by Jennifer Smith on

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. — 1 Corinthians 2:6–16

Anytime a passage starts with the word yet, it is wise to see what was said in the paragraph above. In 1 Corinthians, Paul writes to encourage at a time when the message of the Gospel clashed with the culture of the day (Sound familiar?). In the verses just before today’s passage, Paul talks about the challenges faced by Christians who proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus.

This is where we pick up.

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages of our glory.
— 1 Corinthians 2:6–7

It is important to note two things right off the bat. The wisdom that Paul talks about is imparted, not interpreted. And it is wisdom that is given to the mature believer. This wisdom comes with spending time in God’s word and in prayer as we live life and grow in our faith.

When others look at the life of a mature believer, they may not understand. Why would you choose to give to charity instead of owning a larger house? Why do you choose to spend time with your family on a Friday night instead of at happy hour with the guys? Why not sneak out of the office 15 minutes early or take an extra 30 minutes at lunch? As we grow in our faith, maturing as believers, leaning more into God’s wisdom than the wisdom of the world, it is true: people will not understand.

Paul goes on though to encourage and remind us that we do not answer to this world. We are judged by a different set of rules. He actually says in verse 15, “the spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one.” The spiritual person, the mature believer, makes decisions by looking at life through the lens of God’s wisdom and gets the freedom of knowing that, for those who are in Christ, judgement is simply not a concern.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
— James 1:5

God is not in the business of judging those who are in Christ. He is in the business of growing us into people who honor and glorify him. Wisdom is not scarce, and it is not something he will hold back from those who seek it.

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