There’s a saying that even a broken clock is right twice a day… And so even foolish people can give good advice sometimes: so we ought to keep an open mind and be kind to people. But in my life I have no shortage of people who want to give me advice about my life and what I should do, and people who want me to be more like them… How can I know if someone really has some wisdom, if their way of life is something you should look to? Here are the top five signs from Proverbs…
5. Wise people seek wisdom the way regular people seek money. Most people think more money will make them happy. Or a promotion, a better job. More power, or more popularity, more vacations, more of these good things (I’m not saying they are bad things)… But a mark of wisdom is, a wise person says “I know these things won’t actually make my life full and blessed…they’re only ‘fun’ for a short while and then it’s the same old life… But with wisdom comes happiness.” So wise people seek wisdom like it was worth something.
4. Wise people don’t think of themselves as wise. People who think they’re already wise don’t really seek wisdom… because if you already “had” wisdom, then you don’t need to seek it. But wise people know that they are capable of the same foolishness that anyone else is capable of! So they don’t think of themselves as wise… Instead they see all the foolish ideas and thoughts that run through their head: this makes them humble, and forgiving of other people’s silliness, and makes them want to SEEK wisdom more.
3. Wise people don’t make fun of others. Regular people sometimes enjoy mocking others. They have fun making fun of co-workers and bosses and the “idiots” they see everyday, or celebrities or people in the news. Mocking people makes us feel higher (superior), so it’s a way of making ourselves feel grand. Wise people who don’t think of themselves as wise, and who see their own foolishness, and therefore SEEK wisdom therefore do not make fun of others… How can I make fun of what so-and-so said when I hear equally foolish thoughts run through my own head every other minute?
2. Wise people honor God with their money. Regular people who believe in God only think of how God can bring them money…how God can honor their hard work, and make their dreams come true. Wise people see that as a travesty. If God is God, then we should be serving Him, not vice versa. And so they want all the regular things in life, a home a family a nice things and vacations…but what they want even more is to have the honor of using their money to do stuff that God wants.
1. Wise people do their best to stand in awe of God every day. We get wrapped up in our own lives and small worries but the world is bigger, and the universe is even bigger, and God is even bigger than many the multiverse… So wise people get overwhelmed by small things too, but to offset that they do things to remind themselves of how much bigger God is. They remember that we are tiny ants spinning a thousand miles an hour on a rock hurtling through space – that life has a beginning, a real purpose (although sometimes we can’t figure out what that is) and a definite end. So standing in awe like that, when they hear God speaking with His perfect logic and compassion – they don’t take it lightly. No, they drop everything and make sure they do that first.