Wednesday, October 15, 2008

WEDNESDAY WEEKLY WORD..."The fountain of life"

Have you ever noticed that people who are really good at something seem to come by it easily?

-look at how easily a guitarist fingers walk up and down the neck of a guitar.

-notice how beautiful and skilled a figure skater glides across the ice.

It may look easy, until you pick up a guitar and begin to strum or you lace up a pair of ice skates and instead of grace you experience bruises from falling down. We can never excel at something merely by watching from the sidelines.

WISDOM is similar to this. Obtaining wisdom is not as easy to obtain as it may seem. Have you ever noticed a person who has the ability to calm conflict and who oozes with self control? We may think it is their personality or that they are even-tempered. In reality, what this type of person possesses is WISDOM!

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN WISDOM AND KNOWLEDGE. Knowledge is having wisdom in your head. Wisdom is practicing that knowledge in your life. Wisdom is like the skilled guitarist, you can learn it in your head but to bring it into action - it takes effort, rehearsal and patience.

In the book of Proverbs, Solomon writes many interesting proverbs about the contrast between wisdom and folly (or foolishness). In fact, Solomon writes over 40 times about a fool.
PROVERBS 12:15 "A fool's way is right in his own eyes, but whoever listens to counsel is wise."
How does one choose between wisdom and foolishness? commitment. A commitment to learn, to listen and to grow.

Solomon refers to wisdom as a "fountain of life". (Prov. 13:14) I hope you are not picturing a fancy fountain found in a city square - the fountain he is speaking of is a spring that brings water to a village, a spring that literally brings life to the dead desert. Wisdom, godly wisdom, is the fountain of life that will make your life better and it will enable you to share the "living water" with others.

Not only is commitment a big part of having wisdom, but Solomon says that listening is a big part of wisdom. In fact, Solomon mentions listening more than 10 times in the book of Proverbs. So it must be important.

If you desire to be wiser, you might try listening more. We rarely give our full attention to what another person is saying. In fact, while someone is talking - we are already thinking about what we are going to say back to that person or we are not paying attention at all and we are thinking about something entirely not related to what the person is speaking about.

Last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL was about listening and how well we listen to others. I asked the question, "What are your listening habits?" The top 3 responses were:

  1. 52% voted and said that they look people in the eye and try to listen to every word.
  2. 17% of those polled said that they multi-task while listening to others.
  3. 17% also said that they try to listen but often find themselves thinking how to respond.
If we could only learn to listen more. We might prevent alot of arguments or disagreements.
PROVERBS 18:13 "The one who gives an answer before he listens - this is foolishness and disgrace for him."
Listening is not only important in our relationships, but it is imperative for gaining wisdom. Alot of wisdom is passed on by word of mouth and by listening to other people's experiences.

~ Someone tells you about a great auto mechanic. Bored, you tune out them out and barely hear a word they are saying. Later you find yourself in need of a mechanic and wish you knew of a good one. ~

PROVERBS 18:15 "The ear of the wise seeks knowledge".
The "ear of the wise" is always busy listening for information and wisdom of the experiences of others. People will trust you if you are a good listener. The benefits of listening are undeniable...

~SILENCE is sometimes the best policy. People sometimes anger you with their words or actions. Our first reaction may be to vent back with words of anger or gossip. Solomon says that a man with understanding will be silent (Prov. 11:12). How can anyone be angry with you if you do not vent in anger or gossip?

"But a fool gives full vent to his anger anyway".

Listening is wise. Speaking is often what gets us in trouble.

James tells us to be "quick to hear and slow to speak" (James 1:19) - this is a habit worth cultivating. A WISE habit worth developing.

I have been studying the book of PROVERBS. I encourage you to make a habit of reading the Proverbs, it gives us wise counsel! Develop a habit of listening to people more and learning from people. You could become a student of wisdom and observation by watching and observing people, and then journal what you learn. I hope this study of Proverbs has wet your appetite for the wisdom that is found in God's Word! Next week, I will begin a study on the book of Colossians...Please join me!


God Chaser said...

Laurie thank you so much for this lesson. I have aleays be silent and listening gains me much more knowledge than talking. How much wisdom god gives us if we but look at it and apply it. Thanks again have a wonderful WFW. Colossians is a great book with much wisdom.
PS it also pays to really listen when we visit one another-there is much for growth in the writings on the blogs. Sometimes I find myself rushing through so I can get to a number of sites-but it is better to take the time to absorbed what is being said. If I only get to one from which I can apply much to my life is better than many where I forget most of what I just read.

Peggy said...

Blessings Laurie...Thank you for sharing on the Fountain of Life: Wisdom of the Lord. I really like how you worded the difference between knowledge & wisdom. My husband needs more wisdom, hopefully of the Lord but he considers himself to be very knowledgeable & he is, now he needs to apply it! Course I have much more to do than that...but I seek the Wisdom of the Lord & discernment.I am committed to continue learning, listening intently & hopefully growing in His wisdom. I want that fountain to spring forth from me with His Living Water. Oh, how I hunger and thirst to move in His Spirit in my daily life so others see Him & not me. I wasn't in the 52% so that tells you I have a long way to go!
I will look more closely at Proverbs & how I can apply the many principles of wisdom so that I may grow & reflect the image of Him that I serve!

If you get a chance come look at my Tuesday post, I have something I'd like to bless you with, my friend!
It's at the end!

Laurie Ann said...

Great post here. I loved the difference between wisdom and knowledge. I pray that as I live in Christ, my wisdom will become more mature. And silence - powerful stuff!

Laurie Ann said...

P. S. Please stop by my blog for a happy -