15 I have seen everything in my pointless lifetime: the righteous person may die in spite of their righteousness; then again, the wicked may live long in spite of their wickedness.16 Don’t be too righteous or too wise, or you may be dumbfounded. 17 Don’t be too wicked and don’t be a fool, or you may die before your time. 18 It’s good that you take hold of one of these without letting go of the other because the one who fears God will go forth with both.
19 Wisdom makes a wise person stronger than ten rulers who are in a city. 20 Remember: there’s no one on earth so righteous as to do good only and never make a mistake. 21 Don’t worry about all the things people say, so you don’t hear your servant cursing you. 22 After all, you know that you’ve often cursed others yourself! Ecclesiastes 7:15-22, CEB
Too much righteousness? Too much wisdom? Is that possible? Don’t we stress time and again the importance of having people around us to guide us in making difficult decisions (aka seeking wisdom)? What do we do with this?
We don’t have to get carried away. We don’t have to throw the baby out with the bathwater. A few times in this book the author tells us that too much righteousness and too much wisdom leads down a path of anger and despair. I think what he’s saying is that it’s pointless to pursue righteousness and wisdom just so we can say we’re righteous or wise. Instead, we do this out of our simple attempts to be faithful. And, when we do that, we shouldn’t go overboard or we’ll drive ourselves crazy.
I think of all the people who come to our office with problems and they want to know everything. They want all the information about addiction, psychology, and medicine. They want to know everything about their addicted loved one’s whereabouts and goings on. Information overload. We tend to believe that if we have all the information then that leads us to a solution. Really, it’s just our anxiety running wild. I wonder if that’s one possible example of “too much wisdom”?
Maybe, but I think I have a better idea. Tomorrow.