Parido: Above all else

I am more and more convinced wisdom is what we need as a society, culture and country.

We do not need more knowledge.

Aptly a person once pointed out the difference between knowledge and wisdom: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it into a fruit salad.

I hear a lot of “knowledge” floating around. I hear stories, conspiracies and theories about what we need most.

At times, we seem to believe if we can collect and distribute enough knowledge, we can fix our world.

Knowledge alone will not fix our world. Wisdom — or rather, wise people — will bring healing to our world.

How do we practice this wise living? I think a verse we could all spend some time with in this regards is found in the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs is one of the books of the Bible that provides statements of wisdom.

Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

Our hearts and souls are a life source. All that is us comes from what rises up and out of our hearts.

The author of Proverbs makes clear above all other things we are to guard our hearts.

We are to stand guard and watch out for what enters in the gates of our lives.

Good, bad and ugly things attempt to enter our hearts. Our role and part in this life is to guard our hearts.

Say yes to the good things that knock on the doors of our hearts and reject and repel things that will only cause harm to ourselves and others.

I started by saying the world needs wise people. I think wise people guard their hearts well. In a world where fear and division stand entrenched and taking aim at our hearts, we must guard them well. 

I have seen the effects of fear and division rob us of our ability to have civil discussions.

I have seen fear and division turn family and friends against one another.

I have seen fear and division rip at the core of churches and civic organizations. 

When fear and division find a home in our hearts, we cause harm in the world.

Knowledge is: We know fear and division do not belong in our hearts.

Wisdom is: We do not allow fear and division anywhere near our hearts.

Kevin Parido has been at Winchester First United Methodist/First Fire since since February 2010 . He can be reached at 859-744-5410, or by email at kevin@wearefirstfire.org.