Get Wisdom?

Aug 11, 2005

None of us were really that smart when we were born…all we could do was sit around and smile (and that is only when we had gas!)

(One of my pet peeves is when parents try to convince me how smart their six month old is, I know you are proud parents people—but come on, really!)

As we grow we begin to develop some mental muscle. I personally learned how to count and my ABC’s from watching Sesame Street every single day. I didn’t know it at the time—but I was a student…I was “getting wisdom.”

Then we go to school and learn to color inside the lines (how boring and non-creative is that?) And we also learn things that REALLY matter…like what the capital of South Dakota is…or if train A leaves Los Angels at 3:00 and train B leaves New York at 2:00, both traveling 65 miles per hour, where will they meet? (I always thought that question had some serious morbid undertones!!!)

And then there is college. I will have to admit that college was fun for me…I loved it. And I learned…mostly things I wanted to. Oh sure, I still had to go to biology class, (I hated it—but I know it is necessary for some people), but for the most part I was challenged to think about things I had never thought about.

For most of us, the first 22-28 years of our life is about getting wisdom, going to school, taking tests, reading books. But then something happens—we get our degree (or degrees), our promotion…or that position in life that we wanted…and we stop “getting wisdom.” We give up exercising our mental muscle. Many people actually think that by the age of 30 that they have learned all they need to know. What a tragedy!

The Bible says in Proverbs 23:23, ”Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding.” I find this to be especially challenging when we consider that it was written by the wisest man that has ever lived—Solomon. He challenges us to “buy truth,” to, “get wisdom, discipline, and understanding”

Learning should never stop in our lives. We should be students until we take our last breath. It saddens me when I speak to people and they have made no effort to learn anything from anyone in quite some time. I learned a long time ago that I am not that smart—that I MUST take the time AND spend the money (“buy truth”) to gain wisdom.

As a senior pastor I am a student…and I study every day. I read books, both business and secular, that assist me in developing spiritually and as a leader. (The books I am reading, have read lately are: “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” “The Barbarian Way,” “The One Thing You Need To Know,” and “Seizing Your Divine Moment.” I would highly recommend any of these to you.

I also check out BLOGS every single day. I will admit that there are some really cheesy ones out there; however, the ones I personally read every day are written by Terry Storch, Tony Morgan, Sarge, Todd, Bruce Johnson, Gary Lamb, and Shua. (Any other good ones I should know about?)

And I meet with people that are smarter than me (there are so many of them) and ask tons of questions. I have had the privilege over the past year to meet with John Maxwell, Rob Bell, Ed Young, Terry Storch, Preston Mitchell, Tracy Barnes, Owen Goff, Craig Stovall, and countless others. These men are smarter than me and know a lot more about life and church work than I do.

I would HIGHLY advise people that in order to gain wisdom—hang out with people smarter than you. Remember, the Bible says we need to “get” wisdom. In other words—it isn’t just going to fall on our heads—we have to make an effort. When it comes to making a wise financial decision then hang out with people who are wise financially and ask their opinion instead of asking one of your bankrupt relatives.

If you need to make a relationship decision then ask someone who has a successful relationship and not the dude down at the office that can’t seem to keep a marriage together longer than about 5 years.

Ask people who are wiser than you. Call them up—take them to lunch…and ask questions. When you meet with someone who you want to learn from—don’t just sit there and look at them and expect them to begin spouting knowledge—ask them questions. They have knowledge—but don’t know what you want to know—so come up with a list of questions…and ask.

Get wisdom—we all need some of that—I need a double dose myself. But remember that wisdom don’t come cheap. It will cost money and time for our knowledge to increase—but the payoff is sweet.