The Bible says that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of God (Psalm 111:10). But what does God's wisdom look like compared to man's wisdom? I have known a few verses explaining this but I have never seen a side by side comparison of the two. After reading Ashamed of the Gospel by John MacArthur, I found, at the end of the book, an excerpt by Thomas Boston, a prolific author in the Puritan tradition. It was a table contrasting the two kinds of wisdom. I found it very interesting and often go back to review it.
The original source of the text was the book titled A Soliloquy on the Art of Man-Fishing. For those of you wondering, "soliloquy" means to be talking to yourself as if you were alone and without regard for who hears you. In other words it means to be extremely blunt. This is but a small portion of Thomas Boston's work. I will let the words speak for themselves (I am posting parts of this table hereafter). I found the table very cut to the chase and convicting.
(The following excerpt is not my work and all credit goes the the appropriate authors; Original text by Thomas Boston, modern adaptation by John MacArthur.)
Carnal vs. Spiritual Wisdom
Your body is weak; don't weary it. It cannot abide toil, labor, and stress. So spare yourself
Work diligently for fluent and eloquent speech; fine style very much appeals to the learned. Without it they will think nothing of your preaching.
Attempt to be somewhat smooth and calm in your preaching. Do not attack the particular sins of the land, or of persons to whom you preach.
If you are not subtle, you hearers will be irritated against you and may create trouble for you. And what a foolish thing would it be for you to speak boldly to such a generation as this, whose very looks are disagreeable!
It is dangerous to speak freely and deal with specifics: there may be more hazard in it than you are aware of.
You will be perceived as a fool, as a monster; you will be called a railer and so lose you reputation and prestige. You need to preserve that. People will hate and abhor you; why should you expose yourself to such things?
Great people especially will be offended unless you speak charmingly to them and court and caress them. And if you are looked down upon by great people who are wise and mighty, how will you have any self-respect?
Your body is God's as well as your spirit; don't safeguard it from glorifying God: "You have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body" (1 Cor. 6:20). Paul said, "I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked."(2 Cor. 11:27). But God "gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power" (Isa. 40:29). This you have experienced.
Christ sent you "to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech" (1 Cor. 1:17). Do not preach "with superiority of speech or of wisdom" (1 Cor. 2:1). Your message and preaching should no be "in persuasive words of wisdom" (v.4)
"Cry aloud; do not hold back;lift up your voice like a trumpet;declare to my people their transgression,to the house of Jacob their sins" (Isa 58:1). "Better is open rebuke than love that is concealed" (Prov. 27:5). "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God . . . handling accurately the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15)
"Whoever rebukes a man will afterwards find more favor than he who flatters with his tongue." (Prov.28:23). I have experience of this. "Behold, I have made your face as hard as their faces . . . Do not be afraid of them or be dismayed before them, though they are a rebellious house" (Ezek. 3:8,9). Experience confirms this, too.
"He who walks in integrity walks securely" (Prov 10:9). "He who walks blamelessly will be delivered" (Prov. 28:18)
"If any man among you thinks that he is wise . . . let him become foolish that he may become wise" (1 Cor. 3:18). "We have become a spectacle to the world . . . We are fools for Christ's sake" (4:9,10). "A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20). Who cares what people say about you? After all, many said of Jesus,"He has a demon and is insane" (John 10:20). He said, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me"(Matt. 16:24). “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you." says our Lord (John 15:18).
"I will not show partiality to any man or use flattery towards any person. For I do not know how to flatter, else my Maker would soon take me away." (Job 32:21,22). "No one of the rulers or Pharisees has believed in Him, has he?" (John 7:48). "Not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble" are called (1 Cor. 1:26). "I will also speak of your testimonies before kingsand shall not ashamed" (Psalm 11:46). If you show partiality, you are committing sin" (James. 2:9)
“It is the preaching of the Cross of Jesus that is to make the world new! It is not the philosophies of men, but the Wisdom of God which effects the change. In the Presence of Christ your philosophies must sink into darkness as stars in the presence of the sun." - Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)