Daily Readings: Genesis 1-2, Proverbs 1, Matthew 1
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” – Proverbs 1:7
What an amazing nugget of wisdom from Proverbs to kick off this yearlong journey! Throughout my life as a Christian I have heard this verse more times than I can remember and yet it still maintains the same level of potency every time I encounter it.
How often do we despise wisdom and instruction? If you are anything like me, the answer is probably, “More often than I care to admit.” We are hardwired as human beings to be incredibly self-assured. If you do not believe this, try having a political conversation with someone. Immediately you will be confronted, 9 out of 10 times, with someone who has no interest in gaining wisdom. We all have it all figured out.
“Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
This plays out constantly in our work lives as well. I know that I consistently have to fight against my normal tendency towards self-reliance. If it was my idea, change is good. Everyone else should welcome instruction! If it was not my idea, the ego almost always steps in. “I should of thought of that. Will it hurt my credibility that we were not already doing things this way?” Sometimes it takes a different tone. “Who do they think they are? They have barely even been here and they are already trying to reinvent the wheel! They are never going to reach their potential if they are not willing to be humble enough to embrace the systems we teach…”
There might be truth in those thoughts. There might not be. One thing that is certainly true, fools despise wisdom and instruction, and no one enjoys being around a fool for long.
So whatever your role at work, regardless of your level of leadership, seek knowledge and come with a humble heart. Truly listen and try to understand where the other person is coming from before seeking to be understood. You will be amazed at the results. Sincere curiosity is an extremely attractive quality in a person young in their career as well as in the most experienced leader. We all want to be listened to, understood, and appreciated. Once we are willing to let down our guard and genuinely seek after further knowledge, great things happen.
Thought to ponder
What is an area in my life where I despise wisdom and instruction?