A Word for Wisdom
A noted philosopher once wrote, “Nothing in the world has been accomplished without passion”. A second said, “When passions become masters, they are vices”. The poet, Emerson, made the observation that “passion is a powerful spring”.
The book Lost Horizon deals with a fictional place called Shangri-La. The message of this book was that wisdom begins when our passions are spent. The point was that passion can interfere with good judgment.
Much evil has been created from unrestrained passion. What harm and misery has been created by the passion for power, case in point, and our political process. However, passion for power is not only reserved for politicians, it is a passion that can infect any of us. The desire to rule and control others is almost a universal desire.
Then there is the passion for possessions, which probably is one of the great diseases of our time. Our directive from God was to use things and love people, and many times we have chosen to love things and use people.
There is also the passion for self-indulgence. “I want to do my own thing” we cry. Most of the time this is only an excuse for irresponsible behavior. It is behavior that ignores the fact that our behavior affects other people.
But, because uncontrolled passion can bring discord and misery is no reason to eliminate it as only evil. Passion – Like fire – is dangerous but yet has great value.
What sort of country would we have without the passion for democracy, where passion infects the soul of men and women? What would life be like without the passion for truth and honesty; neither soul of men and women? What would life be like without passion for truth and honesty; neither would we like a land without the passion for justice? What about the passion for beauty? Would there be a great painting, a great book of hymns or beautiful churches like our own?
The answer is this. It is not the exhaustion of, but the control of passion by wise minds. Wisdom controls passion and enlarges and enriches the human spirit.
These are some passions which bring dignity and character, and there are those which make us less than we want to be. It is good for us to know and understand the difference, and that basic knowledge is called “wisdom”.
Pastor Hans Lillejord