As I started preparing for this blog, I had to stop and really seek for what to share. Call it a bit of writer's block maybe. I just couldn't think of anything to write about. As I sat in my office I heard that still small voice say, "look to the left." As I turned my head, I immediately saw the wall, but as I turned my gaze up a bit, I saw two pictures I have hanging on my wall. One says, "She is clothed with Strength and Dignity" Proverbs 31:25, and the other says, "She is more precious than Jewels." Proverbs 3:15. Since my blog last week was about the process of becoming, I felt it was fitting to dive into the second picture.
That brings me to a question, how well do you know yourself? Take your time and really think about it. I know that it's a slightly loaded question. Some of you may not have struggled to answer the question and feel you have a great handle on who you are. Others of you may be in the midst of an identity crisis, and are struggling to answer at all. Either way, I would venture to say that no one really knows themselves as well as they believe they do. We are complex beings, and so being comfortable in your own skin is only a piece of "knowing" yourself. It's not until you are tested in certain areas of life that you begin to know yourself at a deeper level. I think that is true of all relationships. In fact I would say that with ever test in life, you learn more about you and any relationships you have. Even if that relationship is with God.
Have you ever heard someone say, "oh this is how you should do", or " I would NEVER do that". Maybe you've heard, "What you need to do or don't handle it that way," all the while the person trying to advise has NEVER been tested in that area. I must admit I am guilty of that at times. I've learned that until I’m faced with a situation I can't say how I would respond. In fact I have learned to say, "I hope my response would be…" simply because I really don't know how I would feel or respond in some situations. One thing as a coach I've learned is that I really don't have an answer for anyone. The solution I would use may not be the best solution for the person I'm speaking with. I can ask powerful questions, and help them find their answer, but one size doesn't fit all when it comes to "fixing" problems. We may have the same challenge, but our entire situation and abilities are different.
"She is more precious than jewels" Proverbs 3:15 This excerpt from Proverbs is speaking about wisdom. A lot of times, we use it to refer to "us" as women, which I believe we are wise, but we must remember the context of which it is said. So why do you think that wisdom is spoke about in this way and not knowledge. I mean there are scriptures that lay out knowledge but not as a beautiful tapestry of words showing the beauty and grace of the word. As I mentioned before, words or phrases are visual for me in some ways. I paint a beautiful or not so beautiful picture in my mind as I read the words. So when I see the word wisdom in the scripture context of she is more precious than jewels, I see elegance, grace, strength, humility, and confidence. Can you picture the woman, of elegance, grace, strength, humility and confidence walking into the room. That's what wisdom looks like! She's beautiful isn't she. I asked my husband why God would use a woman to describe wisdom. He said, "you must pursue it." I had a rather odd look on my face, and he clarified further, "knowledge is like any girl out there, but wisdom is the woman that is worth the pursuit. You have to take your time, and pursue her." Wow! That's it, we have to seek wisdom. My hope is that I become a woman of wisdom. One of my favorite quotes about wisdom is by William Shakespeare, "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." Let that sink in a bit.
At times, we believe we have wisdom because we are smart. We think that books provide us with wisdom, when really the books provide us with knowledge; the words mean two different things. So many times we intertwine them into the same thing but then I ask the question again, why does the word knowledge not appear as a beautiful woven tapestry? I like to think about it in this way. Knowledge is like when we are children. We learn a lot, we study, we are sponges. As we get older a little thing like "life" happens and provides context to what we learned. What we learned doesn't make sense with what we survived, but blending our knowledge and experiences together it's called wisdom. Albert Einstein said this, "Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it." Wisdom is applying the knowledge you have to decisions. Knowledge is free, wisdom costs. There is a cost to your wisdom. That's why I love to listen to those older to me tell their stories or share words of encouragement, because I understand there was a cost to the words dripping off their lips. As a little girl I wasn't always allowed to speak in certain audiences. I was to listen. That was training for when I would walk into rooms with people that knew far more than I did. I needed to watch and observe to learn. That's called wisdom. You don't always need to speak. Sometimes your silence says more than your words. I love this quote by Ismat Ahmed Shaikh, "Knowledge, you may get from books but wisdom is trapped within you, release it." Through the tests and trials of life, our wisdom is released. Similar to the diamonds or grapes that as they are crushed emerges a new substance from them. Something different than their original form, but stronger, more beautiful.
I believe that in your ability to learn and know more about yourself, you begin to exude wisdom. Aristotle says it like this, "Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom." When we begin to know ourselves, we begin to understand how we respond to situations, how we respond to others. Understanding our value, and what we are worth. Even my husband said it, knowledge is open to everyone but wisdom has to be pursued. During the process of becoming, we have to realize that we are learning and gaining wisdom. Wisdom emerges out of life events, tragedies, struggles, and failures. Nothing goes unused by God. He begins to weave that tapestry of our life, and through each woven part is a thread of gold, that symbolizes wisdom. As we grow we learn and wisdom emerges. We don't have to be the best, we don't have to compete with one another, we need to allow our lives to build wisdom that will transcend generations. Pursue wisdom!
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