Last week, I shared about the importance of leading with wisdom and understanding. Today, I’d like to share four ways you can grow in wisdom:
1. Fear the Lord. – “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10, NKJV). This doesn’t mean we should be afraid of God like a kid who’s afraid of monsters. But it does mean we should have a healthy respect and reverence for the Lord like you would for a parent, boss, teacher, or anyone in authority over you.
God is the supreme authority over us and deserves our highest respect. We respect Him most by living according to His principles. Living with reverence for the Lord makes you want to live right and keeps you from poor decisions. When you’re faced with choices, ask yourself, “What does God think about this?” Viewing life through that lens makes you wise and helps you avoid a lot of mistakes.
2. Receive God’s words. – “My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding … Then you will understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:1-2,5-6).
You will always grow in wisdom when you give attention to God’s words. There are many things we can do to help us receive God’s words: read the Bible, meditate on scriptures, memorize scriptures, speak scriptures out loud, write down your thoughts about scriptures, talk about scriptures with others, and listen to sermons. These may sound like simple actions (and they are), but they are practical steps to growing in wisdom and critical to keeping us strong.
3. Spend time with wise people. – “One who walks with wise people will be wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm” (Proverbs 13:20, NAS). Whether we like it or not, we usually become like the people we associate with. It’s foolish to hang around fools; it’s wise to hang around the wise. It’s amazing how much you can pick up just by being around someone for a while. Pick out people you consider to be wise and pay special attention to them. Notice what they say and what they don’t say. Notice how they handle challenges and make decisions. The more you hang around wise people, the wiser you’ll become yourself.
4. Pray. – The apostle James taught, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him” (James 1:5, NKJV). You have direct access to Almighty God Himself, the wisest one of all. You can simply ask Him for wisdom, and He will give it to you.
But you must also have faith that God will in fact give you the wisdom you ask for! When James taught about asking for wisdom, he shared, “But let him ask in faith with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways” (v. 6-8). Let’s not be people who are double minded and unstable! Know that God WANTS to give you wisdom, and He will give it to you “liberally and without reproach.” That means He’ll give you a lot of wisdom and never look down on you for asking.
Leadership Lesson: Take intentional steps to grow in wisdom every day.