2-6—12-2017: Pastor Bill Mugnolo HARP Pastoral Advisor
“A Word for this Week”: “Wise after the Event” … 1 Corinthians 2:1-16
To be “wise after the event”: It’s a British expression which means “to realize what should have been done after something has happened.” “It doesn’t help”, they say across the pond, “to be wise after the event.” Here in the States, we might say that “hindsight is 20/20”.
But to be “wise after the event” has a whole new meaning for the believer in Christ. While he was still known as Saul, the persecutor of the Church, Paul had a great deal of “head knowledge” as to the Law of God and the practices of the Jews. But only after his conversion along the Damascus Road did he finally come to know of the wisdom that comes down from above. This dramatic encounter with Jesus changed Saul’s life and led to his transformation into the great apostle of the Lord. In the wake of the momentous event of his conversion, Paul had become “wise after the event”.
It was this true wisdom from God that Paul looked to impart to both the Corinthians and to us (1 Corinthians 2:1-16). Though he proclaimed this apart from lofty words and “in fear and trembling”, Paul’s message of Christ was given by the Spirit in the very power of God Himself (vv.4-5). When we believe in this message of Christ’s forgiveness and love, we too become “wise after the event”—the event of our own salvation.
As we go back to this term’s British understanding, we are often humbled, after the fact, by the mistakes that we’ve made. We see how, despite all the best of intentions, we often leave our share of unintended consequences. “Coulda, woulda, shoulda” we find ourselves saying as we “kick ourselves” repeatedly.
But the Lord, in His own loving way, leads us to become “wise after the event” as we see how works all things—even our mistakes—for our good as we are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Then, as we mature in godly wisdom (vv.7-16), we learn patience, thoughtfulness, and discernment so that our actions bless others and have fewer unintended consequences. Indeed, having the “mind of Christ” (v.16) we can also become “wise before the event”!