Reflecting the Wisdom of Heaven

In response to the prompt of “orderly.

I.

The disorder of our world today reflects the reality of it’s lack of peace. It’s a place where envy and selfish ambition flourish. Where we put ourselves before others. Where we go out of our way to belittle those not like ourselves. It’s a place where narcissistic exhibitionism is seen as strength, and respect and restraint are seen as weakness.

II.

Order is hard to maintain. It seems like our world is simply bent towards chaos and disorder. Like trust is easily broken, for all it takes is one act of defiance, one act of disloyalty, one slip of the tongue to destroy it, all it takes for order to turn to disorder is one moment, one act, or even one word.

Everything is susceptible to entropy. The physics of things that are seen works its way into the realm of the things unseen. It’s simply the way of nature.

III.

Order takes work. It takes intentionality. It requires patience. To choose order is to choose the way of grace.

Order is not the same thing as perfection. Believe it or not, living life in an orderly way can actually look quite messy. Order is living out the wisdom that does not reflect the wisdom of this world. James 3:17 says “the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” Order doesn’t mean that there is no room for mistakes. Order responds to mistakes and failures with mercy, love, and compassion, and it expects you to respond the same way to the mistakes and failures of others. For blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.

Before that verse I just quoted in James, he says in verse sixteen that “for where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

Disorder comes when people seek out and voice their own selfish ambitions. Insecure people are envious people, and they are contentious towards anyone who fails, holds them back, or gets in their way.

IV.

There’s a huge backlash right now towards being politically correct. Many people believe that we’ve become much too sensitive in our society and that we have all become too thin-skinned, finding nearly everything offensive. But if everyone simply says what we want, when we want, not caring for our neighbors and ignoring the heavenly wisdom, we find a world and a society in turmoil and disorder, creating an environment for chaos and evil to flourish. A world with feet swift to run to the ways of fear, hatred, and violence. 

I believe that at the heart of being politically correct is a desire to be pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy, impartial and sincere.

Those that to love to attack being politically correct seem also to be the types of people who are conflict-loving, inconsiderate, resistant, full of cruelty, unjust, and duplicitous.

It’s ironic to me that those who seem so certain of their beliefs about the correctness of their political stances are often the most outspoken against being politically correct.

V.

Order for order sake is not the goal either. True order is full of peace. It is healthy. It is just. It is shalom. It reflects the characteristics of a benevolent and just God. It values all people. Listens to all voices. Gives space for people to differ and be individuals, rather than simply conforming. A culture of conformity is not a culture of true order. It’s synthetic.

VI.

Order is necessary if we desire an atmosphere in which the gifts and skills of all people can be recognized and given the space to work together and to build up a community in love. Order constrains self-indulgent abuses. It gives room for differences and is defined by mercy, grace, and compassion.

When we in the church pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” we are praying for order in this world because order is a reflection of the wisdom of heaven.

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This carving of the Lord’s Prayer hangs in the church I go to.
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