Finding Wisdom

Bill Abbate

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Wisdom is timeless. Wisdom is truth. Wisdom is reality. Wisdom can help you live your best life. Who doesn’t want to be wise?

But where do you find wisdom, and how can you gain it? Let’s explore this question and find some answers.

Wisdom and its implications

Wisdom has been sought by many throughout the ages. Where does it come from? Can you find it alone, or do you involve others? Do you pray about it? How about reading what is considered by many the book of all wisdom, the Bible? Do you search and consult it?

Imagine God telling you He would give you anything you desire. What would you want? This happened to a man named Solomon 3,000 years ago. What was his request?

Solomon asked for an understanding heart so he could govern God’s people as their king. God, therefore, gave him a wise and understanding heart. Solomon became the wisest man in all the world and has maintained that title since.

Little on earth is as valuable as wisdom. If the example of Solomon does not show you its value, nothing will! Yet, with all of the resources available today, why do more people not seek it? That is certainly one of the many mysteries of the current age!

But where can we start? Let’s look at three ways to find wisdom.

Seeking the counsel of others

We can find wisdom by studying its sources, such as the Bible, but how do you gain it? One of Solomon’s many proverbs states:

“A wise man will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.” Proverbs 1:5 NKJV

An easy way to find wisdom is to use the counsel of others. You can gain much by listening and learning from them.

All of us will experience many times when we need more wisdom. You need wisdom if you make a large investment, such as in a home or a vehicle. You need wisdom when you are about to get engaged or married. When choosing a college to pursue a degree, you need wisdom. There are hundreds of other big decisions when we need to seek the wisdom of others.

One of my favorite sayings from Solomon is:

“Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” Proverbs 15:22 ESV

I find it interesting that Solomon, the wisest man in all of history, still sought others’ input. Why do you suppose that is? Speaking to others about an idea or a decision helps you develop greater clarity about what you want.

Have you ever had an idea that you thought was brilliant, but when you attempted to explain it to someone, it didn’t come out as straightforward as you hoped? Most of us have had this experience at some point. If you have not yet, give it time, and you will!

Others also lend different perspectives that will broaden your viewpoint. Any new or different perspective can help you gain more understanding and uncover more options.

Finding wisdom in counselors and advisors

Who can you turn to for counsel? When you begin to seek it, it usually shows up. It may come in written form, on a video, through someone in your life, or in another way.

When someone provides you with counsel, they are giving you advice. Some who can give you good advice include your spouse, boss, parents, and family members such as uncles and aunts. While other than your spouse, most of these are older than you, you can also find excellent advice from your peers and some younger people, including your children as well.

Then there are the many paid professionals who routinely give us advice. Legal counsel from an attorney/lawyer/counselor is a common form of this. Other paid professions include psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed marriage, financial, and family therapists and counselors, to name only a few.

Hopefully, whomever you seek counsel from understands God’s Word, the greatest wisdom and counsel of all!

Finding wisdom in slowing down

Whenever you face an important decision, it is wise to not only seek the advice of others but also to slow down. It is well known today and backed by science that most decisions are emotion-based, not logic-based. When emotions control you, they can limit your ability to see clearly, creating blind spots.

By slowing the decision-making process, you allow your emotions to level out, which could take hours or days. This time delay lets your rational thinking catch up with the part of the brain that reacts quickly and controls your emotions.

Time is always on your side when making an important decision, so be careful not to rush into anything.

After my first wife died from cancer at age 51, I read that a person in grief should make no major decisions for at least six months. I also read it may take two years before you have healed enough to think about another relationship.

This proved true as I met Jane, a wonderful Christian woman, after two years. After another couple of years, we got married. I am thankful every day that God would bless my life with such an amazing person!

There is some wonderful wisdom in scripture about slowing down and waiting patiently. A couple of my favorites include:

“ Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.” Psalms 37:7a NLT

And from Solomon:

“ Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.” Psalms 25:5 NASB

Seek God’s counsel

The greatest counsel anyone can ever get is from God and his Word. As He reminds us:

“Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3 NIV

And don’t forget:

“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NIV

There is much other wisdom in the scriptures showing God’s supreme counsel, including:

“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” Proverbs 19:21 NIV

And his promises are nothing short of amazing!

“‘ For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

What greater wisdom can any human being find than by going to the source itself? Seek God, pray, read his word, listen to His voice, and receive the wisdom and peace only He can provide. You will find His will contains wisdom far beyond all other advice on earth!!

Final thoughts

It is not difficult to become wiser. It only takes some discipline and patience. To recap the road to wisdom:

  • Seek the counsel of others
  • Take your time
  • Seek the giver of all wisdom and His will

By following the wisdom of these three things, you will create a far better outcome for your life.

I leave you with some final counsel from the wisest man to ever live, Solomon:

“Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding. Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.” Proverbs 4:5–8 NKJ

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Semi-Retired-Leadership/Executive Coach -Personal & Career Growth Expert -Editor and Leadership Writer at Illumination -Author

Richmond, VA
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