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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Where do you find your source of wisdom?

If you are even a little like me, you might have a bit of trouble just hanging around people who are always talking "nonsense".  You know, the kind of talk which is just trifling and most of the time is just unimportant - like they are just talking to hear themselves talk.  I like to be engaged in meaningful conversation, either because it unburdens my soul, feeds my spirit, or lifts my emotional well-being.  You are probably the same way - you want to walk away from that conversation with some "meat" - something which actually mattered to have listened to.  Lest you think I am some kind of major scholar, engaged in these deeply philosophical discussions all the time, think again!  I enjoy just unwinding from the hectic day with a few stories which elicit deep laughter, learning about the weekend of a good friend, or just listening to the present struggle of a companion in this walk.  There is something healthy about these times and they bring us closer together or build us up for the work of the day. God encourages the positive conversation, but he totally understands our frustration with the "nonsensical".

Listening to wise people increases your knowledge, but only nonsense comes from the mouths of fools. Wise people say things that give you new knowledge, but fools say nothing worth hearing. Fools hate to be told they are wrong, so they refuse to ask wise people for advice. Intelligent people want more knowledge, but fools only want more nonsense. (Proverbs 15:2, 7, 12, 14 ERV)

The wise in our lives actually say things which bring us new knowledge - either into their own lives or ours.  This is the neat thing about having these close relationships we can just be ourselves within - we find ourselves sharing in meaningful ways which actually help us BOTH grow.  Again, it isn't the largely "philosophical" discussions which have helped me grow the most, but some of the most "common" sharing of frustrations, hopes & dreams, or the wear-and-tear kind of stuff which is really having a hay-day in my life.  The fool engages in all manner of "twaddle" - that trivial, sometimes tedious, and mostly silly prattle.  The wise will have moments of laughter, intertwined with silence, and sometimes capped off with just an insight they are learning or trying to grasp from various perspectives.

Wise people say things which give us new knowledge - if we are always listening to those who don't bring any new knowledge into our lives, we may have to change who we are listening to!  We need new knowledge - perspectives outside of our own limited view of life.  We don't always have to embrace everyone's perspective, but when we get a little more than our own perspective into a matter, we may be surprised how limited our perspective has been!  William Shakespeare once penned the words, "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool."  I don't know about you, but there are times when I act foolish - and I know it!  In fact, there are probably more times when my actions reveal the foolishness of my heart than I realize - you may see those actions and be able to shed a little light into my "actions" which will help me realize how foolish I am behaving.  I relish that insight - I don't run from it!

Although Oprah Winfrey is not one of the women I would turn to for deep wisdom, she did say something which caught my eye once that I'd like to share with you this morning.  You see, she is a woman who has experienced some deeper wounds in her life.  In those times, she evidently did some introspection and here is what she said:  "Turn your wounds into wisdom."  Now, chew on that one a bit and you will see there is something "deep" in what she said in those five simply words.  They weren't a great dissertation on the woes of life, nor was it a lengthy sermon preached from a pulpit on Sunday morning.  Yet, in those words there is found "meat" for us to chew upon.  Wounds come - what we do with them makes all the difference in how well we will recover from them. She chose to turn those wounds into wisdom - giving her insight into how to avoid the same "wounding" influences again in her life.  Small words with huge nuggets of truth we might just find helpful later in our lives or right now, for that matter!

Sometimes we need to be on the "lookout" for the words which will bring us insight into who we are or are on the journey to becoming - other times we need to be on the "lookout" for the words which will bring us insight into who the other individual is or is becoming.  Our words may not always be deep, nor philosophical, but they can be "revolutionary" when they are spoken in love, emanating from a heart of love for another, and connected to the source of all wisdom, Jesus himself. Just sayin!