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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Character Building: Wisdom

“A word to the wise….” owl

I wish I had more wisdom. Actually, what I wish for more is that I had the wisdom I do now when I was 18 years old. Now that would have been extremely helpful.

But, alas, wisdom comes with age and experience. (As does using the word “alas,” apparently.)

Speaking of age, as of March 15, I will be 17,532 days old. I wondering how many of those days saw me grow a little wiser than I was the previous day.

Wisdom is more than just being smart. In some ways, I’m very smart (I think). But “wisdom” is using smarts on a regular basis in what we say and do.

Wisdom is most evident in what a person says, or doesn’t say.

Abraham Lincoln – considered by many to be a wise man – once said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

To attain wisdom, what we say or don’t say is the key. Knowing what to say or not to say – and when to say it or not say it – comes from the school of experience. This will also be a sign of maturity.

In this age of TGIF (Twitter-Google-iPhone-Facebook) the signs of maturity, experience and wisdom are seldom seen. The ability to virtually immediately reveal publically how we feel and what we think is free for everyone in our culture. But that we can doesn’t mean we should.

But why is this important? Why is this part of a series on Character Building?

Wisdom brings together all the other parts of character building: humility, integrity, honesty, courage and faithfulness. All of these are excellent qualities to have. But they are not to be hoarded. As a Christian, I believe I am called by God in Christ Jesus to share these qualities. Wisdom is the way to do this most effectively.

My thanks to Dr. Leonard Sweet for his insights on TGIF culture, in his book “Viral.”

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