WALKING IN TRUE WISDOM
It never fails to amaze me, how the conduct of some people with impressive academic credentials, is glaringly inconsistent with what is expected from a person who has been exposed to countless learning opportunities of skills, knowledge, values and attitudes. It confirms the notion, that you can have all the knowledge in the world, if it has not led to a change in behavior and attitude, you are of no value to yourself and others. Let me hasten to say that I am a firm believer of life-long learning; the type that equips one to handle the current realities of life appropriately and serve your fellow-men in the best possible way.
True wisdom is not merely the accumulation of knowledge; it is best displayed through acts more than facts. Those of us in positions of leadership, must realize that leadership is not only taught, it is primarily caught. We can only teach what we live. The greatest life lessons in my life came from observing how others respond to what appeared to be insurmountable challenges, hold their own in the heat of undue criticism and abuse, setting aside time to make an investment in the lives at others at great sacrifice to themselves to mention but a few. A leader who walks in true wisdom also has an eternal perspective; always mindful of the fact that one day he/she will have to account to his/her Creator for the application of all the learning opportunities granted to him/her.
“ Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are still the greatest fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. “ Charles Spurgeon
THE SUPREME SOURCE OF WISDOM
When the great king Solomon’s reign was established, in 1 Kings 3:5 the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said “ …. ask whatever you want me to give you.” He could have asked for fame, fortune, influence, whatever…. Instead he responded by asking for wisdom. Later on in Proverbs 3:14 – 15 he explains the rationale for his choice “ Wisdom is worth more than silver; it brings more profit than gold. Wisdom is more precious than rubies; nothing you could want is equal to it.”
If we want to succeed in our assignment in life, we will need wisdom above all else. This will enable us to discern what is true, right and enduring and act accordingly. Wisdom is underpinned by humility. It is an absolute acknowledgement that I do not know it all and the One who created me, knows the beginning until the end. I therefore will be well advised to acknowledge my dependence on Him to guide me through sometimes very complex and challenging circumstances in life.
WALK THE TALK
The old adage – practice what you preach, is a matter requiring our constant attention. When one opens the media on a daily basis, there are just too many instances of poor judgement and values that have expediently been abandoned by very influential people in our society. There is simply a total disregard by some of us in leadership positions, to back up or what’s said, with the appropriate action; this smacks of hypocrisy. In the process people’s trust and respect towards us get eroded and over the passage of time, we become totally irrelevant and nobody takes us serious anymore.
To walk in wisdom and remain consistent and coherent in our conduct, warrants our attention in the following:
- Clarity of thought
Our thoughts are the seedbed of all our words, attitudes and actions. To be effective as a leader, all starts with clear and healthy thoughts. We need to set aside time for reflective thinking and not just carry on from episode to episode. I developed over many years now, the habit of just briefly reflecting after every engagement by asking just three simple questions – What happened? What’s missing? What’s next? This helps me to remain focused and initiate corrective action timeously.
- An instructed tongue
Our words have creative power. It can either build or destroy, give life or causes death, causes a war or create peace and inspire or depress. The difficulty is that once a word is out, it cannot be possibly retrieved. We can try and explain ourselves out of the situation but the damage and scars of our words will remain for a long time in the minds of those to whom it was directed. It’s not always what you are saying, but how you are saying it.
- Establish firm boundaries in your life
You can’t be everything to everybody by being a people pleaser; that is not wise. We can at times over- extend ourselves just to fulfill a misplaced desire for acceptance. As the saying goes- you can’t burn your candle on both sides. It may lead to burn-out and erodes your level of effectiveness. What are the non-negotiables in your life?
- Equipped for relevance
In a highly competitive world, people are rewarded for the solutions they bring to the table. Ensure that your knowledge base is cutting edge to respond to challenges in your environment in a unique and relevant way. By walking in wisdom, you will become the go-to-person when any challenge arise in your field of expertise.
- Fail forward
We will all make mistakes at some stage of our lives. Wise people own up to their mistakes. To them failure is not fatal but an opportunity to grow. FAIL = First Attempt In Learning. People who walk in wisdom has the ability to get up when they fell, dust themselves off and move forward in pursuit of their destiny.
- Making quality choices daily
Our lives are greatly influenced by the quality of our choices. We do not make decisions because they are popular. We don’t make decisions because they are easy. We make decisions because they are right! For this we need wisdom.
We are living in very perilous times that warrants from us to walk in true wisdom. It is about the conviction in our hearts to not only know the truth, but live it out in tangible reality. Truth sustains itself and does not need to be dressed up with all manner of paraphernalia for validation. Walking in wisdom is about being honest with yourself. We are living in a time where the margin of error is very small and one foolish act can cause irreparable damage to our future. True wisdom also carries with it a high degree of accountability; not being afraid to put any of our endeavors under scrutiny so that we do not drift or stray from our purpose in life.
Let wisdom become your trusted companion on your journey of life!