4Lawbreakers praise criminals,
but law-abiding citizens
always oppose them.
5Criminals don't know
what justice means,
but all who respect the Lord
understand it completely.
Is there a connection between what I know and how I behave, between learning and doing? Some have claimed that there is no connection, that a person may know moral behavior but not live morally, and that there is no necessary link between knowing and doing.
The Wise Man of Proverbs disagrees. He perceives that all things that we investigate and learn – the physical structure of the universe, the artistic structure of beauty, and the moral structure of righteousness – are intertwined. In theory, of course, it is possible to consider each of them independently, to think of a mathematical equation without observing its elegance, to hear a musical score and not realize that it rests on strict mathematical form, and to do science, or economics, or even poetry without considering their moral implications. But often there are moral implications. The person who continues to be instructed and follows God’s law will never praise wickedness, but soundly condemn it, for he understands rightness of action. The wicked person, on the other hand, never understands justice. You only need to listen to people talking about politics or economics to see how true this is in everyday life, where, to take one example, building wealth and getting ahead are taken without question to be desirable ends.
In all that you do and learn today ask, How will what I am doing impact the lives of other people? This is one way to begin to rise to the level of righteousness and to consider the moral implications of our actions. Then act on these moral implications in a righteous way and let learning and doing be one thing in your life.
O Christ, all the riches of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in you and I would ask that in my life I would faithfully reflect you in all I know and do.