Posts Tagged ‘wise’

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QUOTE – Tim Keller (12-5-21)

December 5, 2021

Wisdom is developed only in experience. No matter how hard they study, the graduate of medical school, law school, and business school will become truly wise in their fields only out in the open, that is, in real-life experince.

Tim Keller, God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life

This explains well the reason that I have a difficult time listening to the “wisdom” of someone in their twenties and maybe even their thirties. Wisdom comes from experience and experience is hard-earned and expensive.

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Proverb-ish #1

December 1, 2021

I have been reading Wisdom In Israel by Gerhard Von Rad and have been inspired to see if I might be able to write something in the same genre. I have learned a couple things.

First, it is a little embarassing to blatantly admit that you’re trying to write something wise. In other writing, you can hide behind the interesting phrase or poetic license. There is no hiding your intentions when putting a pen to a proverb. Your intellect tends to be on display. I have found that disconcerting. My intellect is not the worst, but it is not the best. I land comfortably in the middle of the bell curve. Yet, I am still susceptible to the praise of men and the fear of being considered simple or even stupid. However, I have learned that intellect and wisdom are not the same. Wisdom is the application of knowledge to the real world. Therefore, my attempt is to share what I have learned through the years (knowledge) to my understanding of how the world works. I am more confident with this.

Second, this is hard. The whole point is to write a thought-provoking saying that conveys a world of truth in a few words. That is difficult to do. Good or bad, the process is rewarding. Attempting to write a proverb will force you to write in a concise manner. That is a good excercise for anyone working on the craft of writing. So, I will keep at it. Hopefully, they will improve with time.

I have delayed long enough. My disclaimers are hopefully sufficient. There are a variety of proverb styles. Here are my first attempts at proverb writing, presented as opposites:

Opinion rough hewn, set aside as complete.
Thinking continually crafting, refined through time.

Quick retorts, snide remarks, talking points, pass for understanding.
Accurate articulation of an opposing view, true knowledge.

Division and hurt excused by single-minded purpose.
A wake of kindness, people as primary, purposed defined.

Curiousity satisfied by a tweet.
Always more to know, curiousity grows.

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QUOTE (Tim Keller) – Troublemakers

November 23, 2021

I have been listening to Tim Keller’s sermon series on wisdom. He referred to his devotional book during his sermon Knowing God. So, I bought God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life. Yesterday’s devotion struck me as so relevant to today’s issues that I wanted to share it. It is hard to make a case that our culture is getting wiser.

THE TROUBLEMAKER. Another kind of fool is the troublemaker. The mark of this person is constant conflict (Prov. 6:14). This is the opposite of the peacemaker (Matt. 5:9), the bridge builder whose careful, gracious answers (Prov. 15:1) disarm and defuse tensions. The troublemaker instead stirs them up. This is not the person who disturbs the false peace with an insistence on honesty. Rather, this is someone who always feels the need to protest and complain rather than overlooking a slight or wrong (Prov. 19:11). When troublemakers do contend, they do not present the other side fairly. Their corrupt mouths produce deceptive omissions, half-truths, and innuendo. Their body language (winking, signaling) creates a hostile situation rather than one that leads to resolution.

Troublemakers tell themselves and others that they just like to “speak truth to power”. But disaster will overtake the troublemakers (Prov. 6:15). As time goes on, it becomes clear that the troublemakers themselves are a reason that conflict always follows in their wake. They can be permanently discredited by events that expose them for what they are. But the ultimate reason for their downfall is that “the Lord hates…a person who stirs up conflict in the community” (Prov. 6:16, 19).

Tim Keller, God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life, Page 11

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Conflict Resolution: Which Path? – Proverbs 15:1

March 29, 2020

“A soft answer will turn away wrath,
but a word of trouble will stir anger.”

Imagine we have a difficult hike to make. Our destination is a community of peace on the opposite side of a mountain.  This mountain is large and formidable.  There are areas of instability, where a rock slide could sweep us away. There are vast stretches lacking any springs for refreshment.

Obviously, the shortest course will be to go directly over the mountain.  These routes are poorly marked and likely filled with all the hardship of an ill-advised expedition.  Many have tried these routes, but few parties ever arrived at the community of peace intact.

The other route is long.  It meanders along the valleys and ravines. The path is broad, following a refreshing stream.  Travelers wind past hazards while slowly gaining elevation.  

Often, the gains are imperceptible causing travelers to become discouraged and set off on more direct routes. Those routes rarely lead up the mountain.  Often, these impatient travelers find themselves once again at the base of the same mountain or a new one.

The patient traveler diligently stays on the long path with his destination firmly fixed in his mind.  The goal for these patient parties is not simply to overcome the mountain but to summit the mountain as a group, not as individuals.  The long route is the most likely path for the group to achieve their goal and reach the community of peace but it takes uncommon endurance.

I consider conflict a mountain.  Conflicts are barriers to peace and unity, just like a mountain separating you from your destination.  Conflicts are difficult with a lot of hazards which can result in even more barriers if not handled carefully.

Some refuse to deal with conflict.  They are like the travelers that never leave camp.  They sit at the base of a mountain and wonder why the conflict never goes away.

Some choose a direct route.  They say it like it is.  They don’t select their words carefully and rarely listen for a response without an interpretation.  These direct routes often include “words of trouble” that only stir up more anger.  Many, on a direct route, excuse their course as being part of their nature. As if, they had no other choice but a direct confrontation.  

In my experience, directness is not a personality trait.  The direct person is usually either impatient or selfish (unloving).  Those on the direct route rarely get off the mountain of conflict.  It is where they live.  They feel like the world is out to get them, never realizing that they are the ones continuing to raise more mountains (barriers).

Gentleness of tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it causes a break in spirit. Proverbs 15:4 

The long route is hard, mostly because it involves a lot of self-control.  Yet, gentleness takes time.  Soft words must be allowed to seep in and moderate the heart of a conflict.  Kindness has to be kindled and love often must be demonstrated through long-suffering.  Conflict resolution requires consideration, which will rarely be granted when there is a break in spirit. 

Travelers of the long route must value gentleness, patience, kindness, self-control, and love.  I don’t see travelers on direct routes valuing those same attributes.  Is it any wonder that a world valuing direct, powerful, harsh, responses is a world mired in conflict?

Conflict is not fun.  However, the mountain will never go away until it is surmounted.  If you are ready to deal with your mountain, what route are you going to take? May I encourage you to take the long way?

 Do nothing according to selfish ambition or according to empty conceit, but in humility considering one another better than yourselves, each of you not looking out for your own interests, but also each of you for the interests of others.  Philippians 2:3–4

https://ref.ly/Pr15.1 via the Logos Bible Android app.

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