Wisdom - The Ability to Use Knowledge Skillfully (Part 2)
This blog further explores the subject of wisdom and the harmful consequences of foolish decisions based on the brashness of youth. It concludes with gems of wisdom from older people who have achieved ego integrity.
Solomon, purported to be the wisest man in the entire Old Testament, once stated, "Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding" (Proverbs 4:7). For King Solomon, obtaining wisdom was more valuable than having a long life, riches, or honor. He knew that if he possessed wisdom - and acted accordingly - all the other good things would naturally follow.
His son, Rehoboam, however, did not share his father's quest and reverence for wisdom. When he inherited the kingdom after Solomon's death, a delegation of people approached the newly-crowned king and asked for relief from the heavy tax burden that his father had imposed on them. King Rehoboam asked for three days to make his decision concerning their request. First, he solicited advice from the elders who had advised Solomon while he was king. The older men counseled the young king, "Speak gently to these people and serve them with respect, and they will be loyal to you forever." Then Rehoboam sought the opinions of his young friends who had grown up with him. "You need to show these people who's boss! Don't be such a wimp!" they asserted.
Unfortunately, Rehoboam embraced the advice of his peers and rejected the sage counsel of the elders. When the delegation returned on the third day, Rehoboam answered the people roughly, "Instead of making your tax burden lighter, I will add to it. My father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scorpions!" The people, of course, revolted against this hardline stance. Rehoboam's haughty attitude and harsh words resulted in the Kingdom of Israel being divided with 10 of the 12 tribes ripped away from him, and much warfare and suffering in the years that followed. Israel never regained the prominence that it enjoyed while Solomon was king.
Not only did Rehoboam suffer for his lack of wisdom and inexperience, but so did the entire nation. One bad decision can hurt many people and even change the course of history. Wisdom, then, is of paramount importance.
The following are choice words of wisdom from some of my most trusted older friends:
Jeanette, in her early sixties, from Southwest Virginia advises: "Wisdom for me has come from listening to others, and watching the actions of others... and waiting to see the results. Acting on impulse is not what it used to be as it was in my youth. And holding my tongue on trivial matters has served me well."
Jeanette, age 76, from Bakersfield, California, writes: "For me, wisdom is, as Jesus said, knowing the truth and then living it! It is wisdom to find out what Jesus has said and the context in which He said it, and then respond accordingly. It is intentional living according to truth!"
Ken, in his late fifties, from Arizona, has this counsel from the Bible: "Proverbs 4:5-13 AMP.....'5 Get skillful and godly Wisdom, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation); do not forget and do not turn back from the words of my mouth. 6 Forsake not [Wisdom], and she will keep, defend, and protect you; love her, and she will guard you. 7 The beginning of Wisdom is: get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)! [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.] And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation). 8 Prize Wisdom highly and exalt her, and she will exalt and promote you; she will bring you to honor when you embrace her. 9 She shall give to your head a wreath of gracefulness; a crown of beauty and glory will she deliver to you. 10 Hear, O my son, and receive my sayings, and the years of your life shall be many. 11 I have taught you in the way of skillful and godly Wisdom [which is comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God]; I have led you in paths of uprightness. 12 When you walk, your steps shall not be hampered [your path will be clear and open]; and when you run, you shall not stumble. 13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; guard her, for she is your life.' I especially like the Amplified version...Kind of says it all."
For our more "mature" members, what are your choicest gems of wisdom or advice for our readers? Thank you in advance for sharing.Last edit by Joe V on Jan 15, '15
VickyRN is a certified nurse educator (NLN) and certified gerontology nurse (ANCC). Her research interests include: the special health and social needs of the vulnerable older adult population; registered nurse staffing and resident outcomes in intermediate care nursing facilities; and, innovations in avoiding institutionalization of frail elderly clients by providing long-term care services and supports in the community. She is faculty in a large baccalaureate nursing program in North Carolina.
Joined: Mar '01; Posts: 12,046; Likes: 6,492
Nurse Educator; from US
16 year(s) of experience in Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, pedsJul 3, '11I think wisdom is a little like humility: if you think you've got it....you don't.
Seekers of wisdom would do well to remember that collecting it is a lifelong process. Unlike becoming an adult physically, becoming wise doesn't involve a defining sign or landmark that we can claim as our moment of arrival; there is no "there" there. Just as we reach a stage of life where we think can say, "Yep, I've got all my ducks lined up", somebody moves those quackers and we're back to square one. Step forward three steps, go back one, move ahead two more, and then get knocked back another........and on and on we go. Wisdom comes only when the steps forward outnumber those taken in the opposite direction.Jul 4, '11Quote from VivaLasViejasViva, I so agree with you! Wisdom comes in increments that accrue with each passing day, if we allow it.I think wisdom is a little like humility: if you think you've got it....you don't.
Wisdom comes only when the steps forward outnumber those taken in the opposite direction.
As I age, I am learning to not sweat the small stuff and to be appreciative. I make it a habit to count my blessings each and every day. I also make it a habit to reflect on each and every life experience and learn what I can to be a better person.