Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wisdom Will Be A Crown Of Life To You

Proverbs 4  Speaks To Today


Who is wise and understanding among you? 
By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom” 
(James 3:13)

She Will Place A Wreath On Your Head


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Develop Good Judgment

Wisdom and good judgement are married like heads and tails on a coin. You can't have one without the other.

But again that begs the question, "What is wisdom?" Clearly, it is something so missing in American culture that without a dictionary most of us are not able to provide an answer, not even one that will satisfy ourselves let alone our listeners. We are thrown back on the dictionary so here we go:

Simple Definition of wisdom
(note it takes all three of these statements to define wisdom)

·    : knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life
·    : the natural ability to understand things that most other people cannot understand
·    : knowledge of what is proper or reasonable : good sense or judgment
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wisdom


With the Hebrew use of couplets in the proverbs, one could argue that the first two lines of Proverbs 4:7 equate wisdom and good judgment. I'll leave that to the linguists and biblical scholars. But again it is clear you can't have one without cultivating the other.


Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!

And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.


At the risk of being mentally beaten by the biblical purists -I am one myself- I want to again quote from a secular source, Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic. His words may help us understand why in our culture we have such a hard time defining wisdom and even practicing good judgment. 

For decades our definition of "smart" was tied to academic knowledge. But there is a big disconnect between what universities teach and what the real world of work demands, and individuals with high IQ can sometimes do stupid things.
Then came the notion of emotional intelligence, or EQ, which highlights the importance of social and political skills in all areas of life. Although EQ is enormously important, there is more to intelligence than social skills. Indeed, you can have great people-skills but make the wrong decisions in life, and several of the most exceptional achievers have been considered interpersonally dysfunctional and antisocial: Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, and Larry Ellison are just a few examples. 
So what is it, then, that smart people do right? What qualities do they have that set them apart from the rest?
Mostly, they make better decisions, especially when it really matters...
Although there is no universal formula for making better decisions, good judgment is key. 
https://www.fastcompany.com/3038060/3-ways-to-improve-your-personal-judgement
In other words, what we consider to be the basis of being "smart" has undermined our knowledge and experience of wisdom. What we designate as intelligence (IQ) and emotional intelligence (EQ) and our American thinking that turns everything into two opposing choices (ie. it's either IQ or EQ that is the basis of being smart) undermines the exercise of good judgment. 

Our pedestaling of "smart people" has made knowledge a beginning and end in itself rather than the precursor of understanding and then of wisdom (good judgment). We have elevated academic knowledge over experience to the point that even in science we insist our intellectual theories are true regardless of the experiential evidence. We have elevated granting of degrees to a place where, for most recipients, they no longer have enough work related value to sustain life.This elevating of head knowledge over experience has bled over into how we make spiritual judgments as well.

As much as I hate to say it, Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic's three ways to improve judgment mirror the words of Proverbs and other scriptures. There is wisdom wrapped up in them and if you are going to seek wisdom and develop good judgment, you would do well to ponder them until God grants you understanding and wisdom.

  • RECOGNIZE YOUR DEFAULT BIASES
  • ACCEPT YOUR MISTAKES
  • LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE


Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!

Whatever else you do, develop good judgment.

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If you prize wisdom, she will make you great.
    Embrace her, and she will honor you.


She will place a lovely wreath on your head;

    she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
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The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, 
full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere 
(James 3:17).

What a lovely picture - life based on wisdom.

Get wisdom. It is the wisest thing you can do!


Floral Head Wreath

Photo Credits:
Victor's Crown @ betteroffreas.com, some rights may be reserved

Floral Head Wreath by Maggi Polk, all rights reserved @ flickr.com

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