Charles “Tremendous” Jones once said, “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.”
We have the opportunity to choose both.
“Become wise by walking with the wise; hang out with fools and watch your life fall to pieces.” Proverbs 13: 20 msg
Hence, let’s choose to walk with the wise.
As for the books, check back tomorrow.
“Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.” Proverbs 21: 5 msg
Thomas Edison said, “Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning.”
Careful planning encompasses diverse people with unique skills who see unique parts of the puzzle.
A theorem from geometry proclaims, to the effect, “the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the the sum of the parts.”
So, when planning this week, let’s hear and listen to the unique wisdom of different persons in our life.
Oh Creator, Savior and Spirit,
to know to the facts,
to understand their meaning,
to wisdom to discern what to do, and
to courage to act at the right time.
Phillip Kapela and Carol Ehler
Now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Colossians 3: 8 nlt
This message and wisdom given over two thousand years ago to a small community in Greece needs to be spoken and followed today.
All five of those actions harm, infest, and destroy our world.
Let’s be that person and presence of kindness, control, manners, honesty, and good language today.
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.
Proverbs 11: 14 nkjv
The reserve states “Where counsel exists, success exists.”
A wise spouse, a trustworthy friend.
One is good and many are better.
Let’s seek out, listen to, and value the counselors in our life.
“The know it all knows nothing!”
“Say only the things which people need to hear, the things which build them up!”
Watch our steps
The naive believes everything, but the sensible man considers his steps. Proverbs 14: 15 nasb
“Watch were you’re walking.” How often have we heard that?
“Be careful what what you say. Consider your words.” Also, how many times have we heard that.
Actions always have consequences — sometimes we enjoy the consequences and at other times we suffer the consequences.
Certain encounters will not take us anyplace good, whether it’s someone in a back alley offering to sell a brand-new television for thirty-five dollars or an e-mail from a widow in Africa looking for a person to help her gain access to her late husband’s twelve-million-dollar bank account.
Traps are everywhere, but a wise person looks where their foot is going to land before a step is taken.
Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3: 27 niv
In our world, injustice and unfairness abound.
We have an opportunity to help make things right by giving credit where credit is due, by giving praise where praise has been earned, by rewarding good performance when it is within our power to do so, and by giving help to those who deserve it.
I would challenge us to go further and do good even to those who need it though they may not deserve it.
Doing good to the good flows out easily and is easy.
Doing good to the obnoxious, the rude, and the devious challenges.
The “Golden Rule” of Leviticus 19:18 flows from Jewish wisdom and is commonly translated as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
Interestingly the golden written in Chinese as 己所不欲，勿施于人 and translated as“What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others”. An English paraphrase would be “do unto other’s as you would want them to do unto you” is attributed to Confucius.
Whatever the source, the principle and the challenge remains.
“Let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill.” Proverbs 1: 5 nrsv
How do you become wise?
What’s the formula?
The secret isn’t intelligence. We’ve all known people with high IQ’s who do dumb things.
It isn’t education. The persons who were responsible for the Enron scandal had MBAs from the most prestigious graduate schools.
It isn’t connections with the largest contact list.
The key is humility.
It’s easier to teach a teachable person.
It is the person who listens, reflect, absorbs, and internalizes both facts and their right place in life who are wise!
Persons who already thinks they know it all don’t have any room in their heart or mind for new ideas.
An old adage from a source I’ve yet to find proclaims “You two two ears and one mouth. Use them in that order.”
Works of art mesmerize, capture, draw out words and feelings of awe, appreciation, and so much more.
The beauty of the Pieta, the wonder of a fine piece of furniture — to mention just a few.
The finished product radiates.
However, the process leading to the final product takes time, talent, patience, and perseverance.
The wisdom of later life stands on the growth and pain and molding of many years.
Who would not to be the sculptor who chiseled the Pieta?
Who would not want to be the carpenter who made a fine piece of furniture?
But how about being the piece of marble which needs to be chiseled?
But how about being the wood which needs to be cut and sanded?
People in our life can be the sandpaper which refines us, when and if we are patient.
People in our life can be the sculptor who chisels us and takes away the rough edges.