Lutheran Church Extension Fund

You're surrounded by wisdom (in surprising places)

Monthly Theme: Curiosity

Reading time: two minutes

Intellectual Wellness goes beyond book learning. It’s curiosity about people.

Even Adam and Eve didn’t know everything. It’s for our own sake that the Lord created us with limitations. It makes us dependent upon Him, and it gives us confidence in the assurance that while we’ll always have a limited understanding of our world and what happens in it, God knows.

And consider this: our intellectual limitations make us dependent on one another!

God in His wisdom has taught you things that I have not learned, and He’s taught me a few things along the way also.

When the Lord of the Church brings us together as the body of Christ, each of us with our own gifts and passions and experiences, He’s pooling our resources for the benefit of us all, and for the benefit of those in the community we serve.

And how interesting is it that those in our communities who are outside of the fellowship of the Church, may also have some wisdom from which we might benefit? (More on that in a minute.)

Curiosity is seeking the blessing of God’s wisdom as He has imparted it to others.

It’s why we read books. It’s also why we get curious about the people around us.

It might be why Paul encouraged the Ephesians to engage one another in helpful conversations.

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen” (4:29).

In order to know one another’s needs so that we might better serve them, we ask them, in the spirit of kindness and compassion, to tell us about their hurts, their fears, their struggles and their sadness.

And in order that we might all serve better, we share with each other what we’ve learned along the way!

So from whom are you learning? Who’s building you up?

Here are a couple of suggestions for places to unleash your curiosity.

Young people. They’ll tell you things about the world in which they are growing up that will likely shock and amaze you. (Remember what you knew that your parents didn’t?)

Neighbors. You’ll discover things about your community that you could not have imagined. We occasionally asked our neighbors, “What difference could our church make in our neighborhood?”

People who don’t (yet) confess Christ. Dr. Ji at seminary once told me, “Only your friends will tell you your faults.” (I got an A on the paper anyway.) We might learn something about our witness (our “bad breath”) from those around us who are watching.

Long-time members who resist everything new. I’d bet there is some history there about some mistakes made or hurts imparted in the past.

Your most recent new members. Ask them what they know. I’d be curious to hear what they have to share with you!

Thanks for reading.