Thursday, 11/11/21 – Priorities: of Socrates and of Saviour

Priorities: of Socrates and of Saviour

The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates (470 BC–399 BC) is credited with the comment, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.” Enduring wisdom to which many present day scholars and philosophers agree. Even actor Dwayne Johnson, double negatives aside, notes, “The one thing that I keep learning over and over again is that I don’t know nothing. I mean, that’s my life lesson.”

To both Socrates and Johnson the “one thing” that was primary was this intellectual humility. Others hold other “one things” in top spot as the following quotations demonstrate.

“The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision…” – Neil Gaiman
“…the one thing people can’t take away from you is your education.” – Michelle Obama
“To me, if life boils down to one thing, it’s movement. To live is to keep moving.” – Jerry Seinfeld
“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who will have sought and found how to serve.” – Albert Schweitzer
“Outstanding people have one thing in common: An absolute sense of mission.” – Zig Ziglar
One thing is clear to me: We, as human beings, must be willing to accept people who are different from ourselves.” – Barbara Jordan
Truth-telling, I have found, is the key to responsible citizenship. The thousands of criminals I have seen in 40 years of law enforcement have had one thing in common: Every single one was a liar.” – J. Edgar Hoover
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” – Walt Disney
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s a cruel, cruel world.” – Danny DeVito
“I think one thing I’ve learned over the years is just that you’re not going to ever please everyone, and the most important person to please is yourself.” – Jeremy Scott
“Sometimes I think that the one thing I love most about being an adult is the right to buy candy whenever and wherever I want.” – Ryan Gosling

Well OK, some of these may have been spoken with tongue in cheek, but they do reveal something about the individual. Jesus also recommended “one thing” as primary above all others. He demonstrated it in His lifestyle, habits, and ministry, and it reveals very much about His character and the kind of people He longs for each of us to become.

He shared this priority with Martha: “There is only one thing worth being concerned about.” He told her, adding “Mary has discovered it” (Luke 10:42, NLT). What was it? It was what Mary was doing… what she had set as her Number One focus: “Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught” (v. 39).

Elsewhere in scripture Jesus urged “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matt. 22:37-38). Even prior to this He commanded “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33).

Socrates was condemned to death for his method of questioning. Jesus became “the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.” (Rev. 13:8) so that we could once again know Him as we ought. The Apostle Paul made “to know Him” his one great quest (see Phil. 3:13), and so may you.

Press on…

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