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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

19 Jan '13

Growing our wisdom one decision at a time

Posted by T.J. Addington in decision making, wisdom

There is much written in Scripture about wisdom. We all want it, all believe we have it and certainly don't like the alternative - being a fool. The thing about wisdom is that like a tree it grows slowly, one ring at a time, one layer at a time, one decision at a time and it is the accumulative layers of right thinking and right decisions and right priorities and right behaviors that build true wisdom.

Wisdom starts with "The Fear of the Lord." There is a lot wrapped up in that simple statement but fundamentally it is the acknowledgement that God's ways for our lives are the right ways even though we are constantly challenged by our selfish hearts, the media and our society that there are "better" ways than His ways. Or to put it another way, His ways are great, as long as they don't get in the way of My ways! When they do, well, lets say it is negotiable.

Those who grow little rings of wisdom have made the decision that His ways are indeed the right ways and they consciously and intentionally align their lives to be in sync with his ways. Wisdom, then is not just how we think, it is directly connected to the life choices we make and our obedience to God. It is not just about wise decisions, but about wise living.

Wisdom is also about what we choose not to do. Proverbs is a book that contrasts two types of people. The wise and the fool! Fools choose certain paths and the wise other paths. For instance, fools do not listen to other wise people. Fools, act on their own without consulting God or others. Fools are not discerning about their advisers or actions. It is an interesting exercise to look at the ways of the fool and the ways of the wise. Avoiding the practices of the former and committing to the practices of the latter are the way of wisdom.

Wisdom then is also about discernment: the discernment to avoid certain behaviors, decisions, actions and people, and the discernment to choose certain behaviors, decisions, actions and people. Fools lack discernment while the wise specialize in discernment.

Wise people are not born that way. They have chosen to grow it one decision, one action, one behavior and one discerning choice at a time until the cumulative effect is to default to a wise and Godly choice over a foolish and selfish choice. Like the rings of a tree, it is one season at a time that eventually shows its unique and faithful character, ring after ring after ring.

It does not happen by accident! It is a choice we make. Each time we have a choice.