SMALL GROUP time is precious in my sight. Times when a group of relatively like-minded people meet for a common purpose are encouraging, equipping and empowering. Times like these, as the group parts ways, are reflected on as uplifting, inspiring, and to a good degree, challenging.
One such challenge a group I’m connected to pondered recently was, “What is wisdom, and how do we attain it.”
We talked about role models in life; those who exuded what we observed to be wisdom. We talked about faith, humility, stability of personality, and character – amongst other things – in the characterisation of wisdom in a person.
But two defining degrees I came away with.
Two degrees of wisdom were these: 1) to be a learning person – fundamentally open to learning the whole of our lives, and 2) to be an effective and shrewd decision maker (which is a harder degree to aspire to than the first).
The first is a commitment to being; the second, a commitment to becoming.
Being a Learning Person
It’s not hard to be a learning person if we will let God humble ourselves in the midst of daily life. It takes a daily commitment before God, to allow the Lord to be truly Sovereign, such that we might see the opportunities for learning as they present themselves. They are all around us.
If we can see that life is the learning ground for the life to come, we will study our lives and the lives of others with new eyes – and a fascination. We want to learn from our mistakes as well as from our successes. We also want to replicate those things in others that we admire, without falling into consternation of people for the things we detest. We focus on what can be learned. It is a fact of being.
Becoming an Effective and Shrewd Decision Maker
Setting our sights on something we can all grow in is a good plan. We can all become better, more effective and shrewd decision makers. This, again, is about being surrendered in the moment before God, weighing the known information before us, and deploying the best thoughts with the best of intent, with the commitment to monitor the decision made. Faith allows us to trust the decision enough to see it thrive or fail. Humility allows us to return to the decision and make further decisions without being anchored, necessarily, to the initial decision.
What is wisdom? Two degrees of commitment are 1) to be a learning person and 2) to become an effective and shrewd decision maker.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.