Mon, April 22, 2024

Free Access: Faith Friday: Seeking wisdom

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Steve Swanson is the former station manager of 88.3 WAFJ radio station in North Augusta.

I am sure you have heard wise sayings like these:

  • Actions speak louder than words.
  • You are never too old to learn.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words.
  • An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
  • Many hands make light work (I wonder if a group of electricians first shared that one?)

Wisdom. Often spoken of, but all too rarely seen. Where can you find it? Is it always available? Does it make any difference? Is it important? Who is the wisest person you know? How did they get to be that way?

These are the kind of questions I ponder as I deal with the topic. I DO think wisdom is something to run after. I DO think it is something that is available. Yes, I DO think it makes a world of difference in our day-to-day living at work and at home.

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The American Heritage Dictionary defines wisdom this way:

  • The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting, insight.
  • Common sense; good judgment.
  • The sum of learning through the ages; knowledge.

Who comes to mind when you hear this question “Who is the wisest person I know?” You might want to pose that question at dinner or around the conference room table. What characteristics do wise people exhibit that bring them to mind and set them apart?

I asked my 93-year-old Dad for a word of wisdom. He said “Listen to your elders. Seniors have a lot of wisdom to offer from their life experiences. We do not listen or learn from them as we could.”

In my life experience and observation, folks with wisdom are rarely the loudest and don’t call attention to themselves or raise their voices to be heard. They seem to have an innate sense of when to interject their thoughts and ideas, and when to “read the room” and quietly absorb what is happening around them.

Who do I know that puts wisdom on display? Several pastors, teachers I’ve encountered, and a few friends come to mind. One interesting observation is that they are a diverse bunch. They are of different ages, and backgrounds, and at various life stages. What do they have in common? They are people of faith. People who confidently put their faith in God and realize they are NOT the center of the universe. With that foundational understanding, they seek to live out their faith through their words and actions. They know that there is MUCH they don’t know. But they DO know where wisdom originates.

The book of Proverbs in the Bible’s Old Testament is chockful of wisdom written by Solomon, arguably the wisest man who ever set foot on planet earth. Among his accomplishments? Building the first temple in Jerusalem and dedicating it to God. “So, King Solomon became richer and wiser than any other king on earth.” (2nd Chronicles 9:22). He literally “had it all.”

Proverbs makes it clear that “Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!” (Proverbs 4:7) The good news is that wisdom is available to anyone and everyone, including you and me. It is there for the asking! “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5)

“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (Proverbs 1:7) Life WITH wisdom makes for a deeper and more satisfying life for you and those whose lives you touch. It also has a direct impact on your personal and professional priorities and relationships. You do not need to take my word for it. You can find the wisdom you need. Just ask!

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