By Not Known
Connections are very important in many cultures. Chinese culture is well known for the sense of 'guan xi‘ and the sense of individual lives being conducted within an invisible and all-powerful set of relationships that starts with the family and extends through the whole life.
The idea of guan xi can also be used to sum up the wisdom theme that is our present focus from the book of Proverbs. Biblical wisdom is about connected knowledge.
The first connection is with the real world, for Biblical wisdom is practical and not speculative.
The second connection is a link between different parts of knowledge. Many present theories of knowledge embrace inconsistency and fragmentation. Biblical wisdom has a strong sense of wisdom that fits with itself, as well as fitting to life.
A third connection is all-important. This is the connection of wisdom to God. Biblical wisdom is not just a rival and echo of wisdom sayings we find in Confucius, ancient Egypt or Socrates. Biblical wisdom begins with the deepest awe of God and continues that way (Pv 1: 7). Wisdom's connection with life starts with wisdom's connection to God.
In this sense, there is a godly guan xi. Good earthly networks of family, friends and business contacts have their place, but they can never substitute for guan xi with heaven. This is a connection with God that the Bible tells us is possible and actual through Jesus Christ and him alone (Jn 14:6)
A final thought. Our age tends to focus on the speed and portability of communication, as seen in our fondness for high-speed digital connectivity that can be accessed anywhere but in the swimming pool. However, do we take as much care with the object of our connection, as with its speed and portability?
- What points is there in being connected to the world with the latest device if we are not connected to God?
- What point is there in having the best earthly guan xi to aid our business affairs if we do not have guan xi with God through Jesus?
What guan xi do you have?