I’m reading a book of short essays by Kosuke Koyama (December 10, 1929 – March 25, 2009), a Japanese theologian. One of them discusses the connection between what he calls ‘thinking well’ (I would say wisdom) and purity of heart. He believes that the heart is what motivates us, and to be pure in heart is to be concerned for others. This comes only to those who know God. Without God, our thinking will be egoistic, not wise at all!
Lack of concern for others can cause all sorts of problems in society– criminal activity being the worst. But what about waste? Using others as mere ‘human resources’ or even slaves? Even simply failing to be kind? All these sinful behaviors run rampant in the world today, and in the long run will lead to many sorts of destruction. Left to our own, we are not wise. That’s probably why the Bible tells us:
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10
When we begin to know God, our heart changes. In the book of Ezekial, God says:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekial 36:26
The Ten Commandments as well as the teachings of Jesus stress love and compassion for others. Kosuke Koyama puts it this way:
“…our failure in thinking well comes from our failure to live in purity of heart. Careless thinking and impurity of heart can make a dreadfully destructive combination. The brain must be guided by the heart. The heart must be enlightened by the brain. ‘Seeing God’–that is, the realization of the most satisfying peace … takes place among us when the dignity of man in his thinking well is combined with the grace of purity in heart.”
Develop a heart of compassion. It’s the only way to be wise.
For more about the heart see these posts:
Pure In Heart by J. Garrett Kell–Book Review