Wisdom and the Inner Ring

This week on The Allender Center Podcast, Dan Allender continues our ongoing series about wisdom by looking at the way we engage binds that exist in our work, churches, marriages, and all of our other contexts and relationships.

Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge into the extremity of the unknown, and to do so in a way that moves the heart to goodness.

Dan reads a few beautiful, weighty excerpts about the “Inner Ring,” from C.S. Lewis’s The Weight of Glory. Lewis writes about the desire to be invited to join the in crowd—the ones separated from everyone else by their power, wealth, status, or any other indicator of success. And accompanying that desire, always, is the terror of not being invited—the dread of being left out.

The problem, of course, is that an “in” crowd cannot exist without an “out” crowd. Dan argues that the whole existence of an inner ring is built on the exclusion of others. “Anytime that you’re in a community built on privilege and power that’s utilized against others through the stance of contempt, you are being seduced into an inner ring.”

Dan invites us to consider how we will engage the desire to be on the inside and the fear of being on the outside, knowing that it rarely comes down to a single, obvious decision but is more often about small decisions and passing interactions.

Foolishness comes not usually by phenomenally large decisions. […] It is a far more progressive, slow, deliberate but not conscious, therefore deceived, stance.

Next week, Dan will continue the conversation by reflecting on how we can wisely engage the binds in our relationships. “Whether it is complex in the context of our work worlds, which it is, it becomes even more complex as we think about how to become wise and wiser in our relationships.”