As I continue experiencing a fascination with people and their personalities, I’m enlightened with new insight on harvesting this gem we call wisdom. Just this week the quest became clearer…
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gains understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies,
nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 3:13-15
So wisdom is the crown jewel? Well, there is a call to action that is even more valuable.
Let me toss you a little known nugget on wisdom: while wisdom may one day sneak up and bite you from an angle where you weren’t even looking, Proverbs 3:15 and other verses on wisdom teach that we should actively seek this treasure.
Of course, you can find wisdom in the Bible, and I believe we should seek this gem there! As we’re called to live in this world and interact with lots of different people, from all walks of life, in the name of peace, love and unity, we will energetically discover fresh insight and understanding from the people around us.
Here are two facets of how to harvest wisdom easily in your daily walk, from other people:
1. Surround yourself with wise people.
Think quality, not quantity. It’s not a contest to see who can gather the most Facebook friends. Friends are both a choice and a process.
The people who are closest to you either propel you forward to who you would like to become, or they will hold you back. The cool part is that you get to choose. (Click To Tweet)
Some folks have a tendency to drain us like water heading for a gutter, while others set our souls on fire. Surround yourself with those who are smart, optimistic and grounded. Contribute to them as much as you feel they do to you.
– It starts with knowing the person that you want to be. Even if you’re not where you want to be, you should have a personal mission statement – that should be a road map to where you’re heading.
Since we are the sum of our 5 closest friends, often when we recognize that we need to change ourselves we have to gain distance from some and possibly all of these people.
The truths about the people around you?
- Friends are a choice, and they are in your life because you’ve chosen to put them there. Extending this thought it includes most people except maybe for your parents, you didn’t actually get to choose them, they sort of “chose” you though.
- Friends are also a process. In saying that please recognize that it takes time to process who people are and what they’re all about.
“If I associate with chickens, I will learn to scratch at the ground and squabble over crumbs. If I associate with eagles, I will learn to soar great heights.” Andy Andrews
Once you start connecting with wise people you’ll start to notice things. Like a compass always points to the north, the course of action of a helpful servant guides a path toward positive change and improvement. So we can use the “process of friends” to not only gain wisdom but also influence the outcome of humanity, just like the butterfly effect. Glean and savor this opportunity of wisdom.
2. Have a servant’s spirit.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13
The cool thing about this is people will gravitate toward you when you humbly serve their needs. Humility is magnetic, and through serving others needs your eyes and ears will open up a new world of wisdom. Again, you’ll start to notice things that before you simply overlooked. People, especially those within your circle of influence, will fill you up with knowledge and understanding. Indeed, some of the things you see and hear in the daily walk are not all that becoming of humanity – however, we should remain encouraged!
“Our ultimate freedom is the right and power to decide how anybody or anything outside ourselves will affect us.” ~ Stephen Covey
Connection is sort of like admonishment – no connection, no admonishment. Just click click and turn it off. Disconnect, done and done. Granted, there is something more substantial to one-on-one connection, a level of connection or intimacy that you just don’t find in a large group of people. Sometimes connecting/disconnecting is just that easy, other times it’s like a drip in a bucket that keeps you up all night… why, Lord, why??
Frequently, God puts people in your life to reveal something about you that you’re not paying attention to. Have you ever had the thought, “I don’t really want that one to be in my realm, so why ARE they now within my workplace, my next-door neighbor, or the parents of my kid’s friends?” I see this all the time in my world. Remember my friend Mark Enge? I wasn’t looking to hire Mark when my close friend said, “Give Mark a job.” I was under the impression that he was one of my people projects, that I was serving his needs. That was true in part, while at the same time it was very much the other way around. He’s one of the people who I talk about in the story of my faith journey.
Some of the people who God has placed in your pathway are there for just that reason – to help you. Be thankful. Be thankful even for the adversarial ones. Yep, I have to be thankful for that one too. Be thankful and humbly serve their needs. You’ll be amazed at what the Holy Spirit will reveal and orchestrate in your life. People and relationships are a two-way street. So is wisdom when you surround yourself with the right people, and have a servant’s heart.
How important do you believe the people around you are to your self-improvement, or to reaching your calling?
Image courtesy of B4bees on flickr.com