This is how the Book of Proverbs begins. It sets the tone for what follows.
“The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
For learning about wisdom and instruction,
for understanding words of insight,
for gaining instruction in wise dealing,
righteousness, justice, and equity;
to teach shrewdness to the simple,
knowledge and prudence to the young—
let the wise also hear and gain in learning,
and the discerning acquire skill,
to understand a proverb and a figure,
the words of the wise and their riddles.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
In my experience, a change of mind always leads to a change of heart, and, I suppose it is equally true that a change of heart always leads to a change of mind. Like the chicken and the egg paradox, I don’t know which one comes first. I just know they always travel together. To me, it seems being convinced to love someone you previously found unloveable comes first, but it’s really a pointless debate.
That is why there is so much emphasis throughout scripture about wisdom, discernment, learning, renewing our minds, and so on. The heart’s capacity to love comes with a change of mind, a new learning, greater discernment, or renewal, and ultimately, wisdom – that is faith with a deep understanding.
Loving Jesus is the first step of a Christian’s journey. But learning how to love, why we love, and whom we are called to love is the rest of the journey. That takes intentionality and commitment. It requires a willingness to be led into new places among new people. It’s never been about blessing the limitations and prejudices with which we begin our journey with Jesus. That’s fools gold (“fools despise wisdom and instruction” Proverbs 1:7).
As you have heard me say before, Jesus is not just the object of our faith, the one on whom we pour out our devotion (first step). Jesus is equally the subject of our faith, the model of life, love, and faith we study and try to emulate (rest of the journey).
Going on the “rest of the journey” doesn’t mean you salute everything the pastor or religious leader says. It just means there is a willingness, even an eagerness, to wrestle with the “subject” of Jesus, the model for a life of faith, together. In the dialogue is where the truth (discernment, learning, renewing of our minds, and wisdom) is found. In the dialogue is where we find a change of heart lurking, ready to spring into action.
Be a blessing to someone today!