Mystic Mantra: An Understanding Heart

One is both surprised and struck with the humility and sincerity of King Solomon's response to God.

We are celebrating yet another anni-versary of the Independence of our beloved motherland! While it is surely a moment to celebrate, it also poses before us the question: Has our nation developed, especially in its moral and spiritual fiber, the way it was envisaged by those great men and women who fought to gain the priceless freedom for us? And could the Bible throw some light on how to come to grips with the current reality of our leaders?

In the first Book of Kings of the Bible one comes across the following conversation between God and King Solomon: “The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream at night. God said, ‘Ask something of me and I will give it to you’.”

One is both surprised and struck with the humility and sincerity of King Solomon’s response to God. He says, “O Lord, my God, you have made me, your servant, king to succeed my father David; but I am a mere youth, not knowing at all how to act. …Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heart to judge your people and to distinguish right from wrong. For who is able to govern this vast people of yours?” And the Lord answered him, “Because you have asked for this – not for a long life for yourself, nor for riches, nor for the life of your enemies, but for understanding so that you may know what is right – I do as you requested…”. God’s response to Solomon brings to light our normal human tendency. People would have normally asked God either for riches or mostly riches, a long life and also good health for oneself and one’s children – things mostly material in nature. Solomon, however, shows us here what is more valuable for a leader who wants to govern his people.

An ‘understanding heart’ which would help one to distinguish between ‘right and wrong’ is something that seems to have generally disappeared from not only from the life of our public servants but also from our own lives. We often ignore this fine distinction. Such lack of ‘understanding’ between right and wrong; moral and immoral; material and spiritual is often the cause of soceity’s decadence. But are our leaders even aware of the degree of rot in public life? Jesus has a straight forward teaching on the issue, “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ Anything more comes from the evil one”. And for those always finding fault with others, said he, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye”?

( Source : Columnist )
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