We are revisiting wisdom again this Sunday. Our Lectionary readings include more from Proverbs, plus Psalm 1 but we are going to look at James.
James is a book I thought I was familiar with, and I suppose in all honest I was, but I am finding out some new and really good stuff every week we are there. This week was especially good because it forced me to look at a word for which I have considerable distaste, namely, “submit.”
I am not sure why I instantly bristle at the word “submit” and I really don’t care. The more important thing is that by (finally) noticing that reaction I can assess it for its usefulness. As it turns out, my “instinctive” reaction is very much not helpful. The analogy I came across and modified somewhat was how we submit to expertise all the time, e.g. doctors. We also submit to rules, regulations and laws, even the ones we think are unnecessary or silly. So what bends me out of shape? My first thought was the subordinate position submitting puts me in but that really isn’t it. It is more the notion of complete helplessness in the face of malign force. The key there is the “malign” part; that is what I need to get rid of because the surest path to wisdom according to James is to “Submit yourselves therefore to God.”
I will never submit myself to God if I believe God is malign, and I don’t. What I need to do is remove the unhelpful connotations from a word . . . far easier said than done to be sure but I’m more interested in achieving wisdom than holding on to a bad idea about what a word might mean.
PS I have no idea why the two files from last week are considered malicious or dangerous, I’m reasonably confident they are fine. This week’s look okay but if you need last week’s, let me know and I’ll get them to you.