Conventional wisdom is always conventional and rarely wisdom. All one needs to do is to look at the life choices so many make to know that true wisdom is in short supply today. The book of Proverbs says that there is no greater gift than that of wisdom which starts with the Fear of the Lord and then cascades down into our lives, relationships, priorities, and ministries. All of life is to be soaked in the wisdom from above (James).

From a Biblical perspective, wisdom is the ability to look at life, situations and relationships from God’s viewpoint and to respond in ways that are consistent with His character but which are also smart and prudent. Wisdom takes into account potential solutions and unintended consequences. It then charts a course of action that is most likely to be productive and minimize the unintended consequences.

From time to time as an organizational leader I have had to intentionally move someone out of the organization because of disruptive behavior. As a leader I have the responsibility to guard the ministry. As a Christ follower, I want to do so in as redemptive a way possible. How I proceed is a matter of wisdom, taking into account all the relevant factors, including the knowledge that the individual in question has a constituency and that if my actions are perceived as being harsh or unfair, they will respond negatively and cause additional issues for the organization.

Wisdom requires the pursuit of God, the pursuit of an understanding of ourselves, the counsel of others and a willingness to go against the tide of conventional thinking. For men and women of deep influence, the pursuit of wisdom and the translation of wisdom into the everyday situations they face is a top priority. A life of wisdom creates a powerful influence because it is a living out of the very wisdom of God.

Wise individuals think deeper, act slower and with more prudence and forethought than those who lack wisdom. Because of their measured responses they are more likely to act with both grace and truth and minimize unintended consequences. They can both think grey and be decisive when they need to be. They are unthreatened by other strong opinions and invite those opinions to the table. They are also wise enough to know what they don’t know and to listen carefully to others. They are genuine pursuers of wisdom.

As I have matured in my own life I have learned that knee jerk reactions to situations are usually more harmful than productive. I have learned to curb my tendency to becoming anxious over situations that produce the need to act “now.” Rather I have learned that time is usually on my side, that trustworthy counselors will keep me from making foolish decisions and that measured responses are far better than quick responses. In essence, I have grown in wisdom and that growth has helped me lead better and has resulted in deeper influence.

I am a fan of the wisdom literature in Scripture. I am challenged by what is classified as “foolish” and drawn to the life of the “wise.” I see where I have been the fool and where I have grown in my wisdom. I am reminded that truly wise individuals are contrarian thinkers in the eyes of the world. They go against the stream of common wisdom. I am also reminded that it is as I think deeply and Biblically and heed the counsel of other wise individuals that I am at my best and avoid my worst. And finally, I am reminded of how far I have to go!
  • May 15, 2010
  • Category: News
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