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Wisdom – Top 10 Learnings from the Book of Proverbs (Part 2) (Wisdom for Work)

19 Apr

wisdom2

Wisdom with how we should work

Work is an integral part of our society. Wherever we go we see people working. In our homes, our schools, the church etc. we see different types of result of the work by human beings. Whether that be our cellphone, our iPads, our shoes, our clothes, the food that we eat, the streets that we cross, etc. all these things are products of work. In life, work is part of our everyday assignment. We are created to work. In fact in Genesis 2:15 it says there that:

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

See, even in the original story, God created man not only to have fellowship with him but for us to work. When God created us he already had it in his mind to give us certain responsibilities and duties in this world; and to be able to accomplish those things we must work! If we don’t work then we know what consequences those things will bring forth to us. Have you ever seen someone who hasn’t worked for X years, I picture people in the movies who sit on their couch the whole day, eating chips, doing nothing and getting fat. That’s what comes into my mind. We are intended to work, and if let go of this responsibility then there will be consequences but I won’t focus on that here. What I’ll focus on is what the Book of Proverbs has advised us in our dealings with work. A few weeks ago I wrote about Wisdom for our relationships (https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=353884517981803), now I’ll focus on Wisdom for our work. So here goes, hope you find this helpful 🙂

6) Diligence vs. Sluggishness

Diligence for most of us sounds like a very very nice word. When I hear the word diligence, these things come to my mind: Industriousness, Hard Work, Perseverance etc. That’s a picture of people who really excel in their work. But it’s easier said than done. As good as diligence sounds, our nature as human beings is to be lazy, slack around and choose enjoyment over hard work. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with enjoyment it’s just that, sometimes it’s all to easy to open our Facebook accounts, Twitter, watch sports, games etc. than to focus on the important things in our lives like: our devotions, our relationship with other people and our work. Again, there’s nothing wrong with enjoyment however it should be put in it’s proper place. Enjoyment can sometimes be a hindrance (although we’re not aware of it at times) to prioritizing what’s important. (P.S. All the things I mentioned I am guilty of!) 🙂

The book of Proverbs says there are many benefits to being diligent:

Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4

Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor. Proverbs 12:24

The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4

A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing. Proverbs 20:4

The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. Proverbs 21:25

Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.

7) Prudence

Number 6 talks about Diligence but for number 7 I’m going to talk about Prudence. So what’s the difference? As I googled the word prudence a lot of definitions came up so I just decided to base it on what Proverbs associates it to. Prudence implies giving thought to one’s ways. Why is this important? I believe that this is important because prudence has something to do with the mind. While diligence talks about hard work, perseverance etc. Prudence deals with carefully thinking about our plans and actions. That’s why the world’s top managers, team leaders, etc. aren’t just those who work hard (diligence) but those who carefully think about whatever decision they need to make. In our work, this is important, to give thought to our ways as well as being diligent. Those two should always go hand in hand.

The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. Proverbs 14:8

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps. Proverbs 14:15

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps

8) The downfall of trusting in one’s ways

Now I’m going to talk about something that for some of us may not agree on, while for the rest of us we know that it’s true however have a hard time admitting this to ourselves. I must admit that when I read the verses concerning this topic, I totally agree on what Proverbs says (it is the word of God after all) however have a difficult time putting this to practice. The reason is because I think my ways are right most of the time in my opinion. I also think that my ideas and plans are the best out there but that’s exactly the point of this topic. There is a way that seems right to us, the keyword there is “seems” but in the end it leads to death. I always have to remind myself of this because left on my own I will always trust and go with my instincts which, most of the time admittedly, may not be the best plan for the situationl. This learning actually leads to the next point.

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. Proverbs 28:26

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12

He who trusts in himself is a fool.

9) Planning and seeking advices to ensure victory

If you have something that you want to accomplish. If you have a God-given dream or vision that he has really birthed in your heart to accomplish. If you’re so convinced to do something and would want to do anything to achieve victory then Proverbs is consistent in it’s admonition to everyone of us: Seek Advice. Andy Stanley said that it is not a coincidence that the wisest king in the Bible wrote more about seeking advice and counsel more than any other person in the Bible. That’s the secret to his wisdom and we can have that type of wisdom as well if we seek advice. There are times wherein I have questions that I have a difficult time comprehending but because I seek advice and get counsel from someone then *boom! Clarity instantly comes because of someone’s advice. Admittedly I don’t do this that often which I have to change if I really want to be wise. Maybe it’s pride at times wherein I just want to be able to say that I discovered the answer all by myself, but what difference will that make? I would just have prolonged the process. So seek advice all the time! The sooner the better. 🙂

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22

Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance. Proverbs 20:18

Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed

We’ve seen how we can be wise in our work and that is: 1) Diligence, 2) Prudence, 3) To not trust in one’s ways and 4) Seek Counsel. Those four things will really help us in our work. Even the principles in most leadership and self-help books that I’ve read have the same principles that the book of Proverbs teaches. Lastly, after having written all those revelations, the last learning is really more of a revelation on the topic of wisdom and one of it’s primary benefits.

10) The advantage of wisdom over wealth and riches

One of the most common concern of every human being in this planet is finances. No wonder, in the Bible, the thing that gets most compared and rivaled against God is money. Jesus said we cannot both serve God and money. After reading the book of Proverbs however, I realized that having wisdom is more powerful than having wealth. You see a person can store up money for himself but the book of proverbs exhorts that acquiring and gaining wisdom is better than that. Why is that so? I believe for the simple reason that when you have wisdom, generating wealth is an easy task. You see great minds like Steve Jobs who lost his position in Apple in his earlier years only to be able to start his own company regain his position there. Why? Because of wisdom. You may have a lot of money, but I would go for wisdom any day of the week. The book of Proverbs says that it is more valuable, profitable and better. So choose to have wisdom over riches! 🙂

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver! Proverbs 16:16

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

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver.

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Life Lessons

 

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