Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Reminders for Ministers

I was going through some old pocket notebooks and stumbled across the following list. I jotted these down at a ministers and spouse retreat a few years back and though I'd pass them along. If I recall correctly, they list was given by Pastor Dave Williams of Mount Hope Church of Lansing, MI. There's something here for everyone.

For lack of the original title, I'll simply call the list, "Reminders for Ministers."

1. You must work at staying simple and uncluttered
2. It is better to look for symptoms of health rather than sickness
3. Love your work or find work you do
4. Use your mouth to speak faith, encouragement and cheer to others
5. I can defy the odds if God is working with me
6. Make decisions unashamedly
7. I have to keep getting up again
8. I can't give up on humanity because I was hurt by another person
9. God's mercy endures forever
10. In life I can never succeed alone
11. Be suspicious of all my first impressions
12. Learn the power of focus
13. I have to take time for privacy and rest
14. Focus on the important, not just on the urgent
15. Seek God early
16. The "victim mentality" never brings increase, but ensures decrease
17. Unless I keep expanding, growing and developing, I will level off and die
18. The true meaning of the New Testament staff and board
19. Jesus will multiply what you have if you give Him what you have
20. It's a sin to be good when God has called you to be great
21. There are only two wills in the universe: God's and some other
22. I must understand the "seasons"
23. Always ask questions
24. Try to annihilate fear and anxiety
25. If I don't want to be lost, I need to hang out with those who know where they are going

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What is Wisdom?

Early this morning I was certain I saw someone on Facebook ask the question. “What is wisdom?” A little later, when I went back to the individual's page to make a comment, the question was no longer there. Then I wondered if I mistakenly thought it was one person, when, in fact, it was another. Maybe I dreamed it. Now I am not sure. Regardless, this led me to jot down a few thoughts concerning wisdom, which I will now share with you.

Three words are sometimes used interchangeably: knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Though they are related and often interwoven, they are not synonyms.

Knowledge – has to do with mental gathering of facts,
Understanding – has to do with the mental grasping of those facts in the context of its original setting - why a fact is a fact, so to speak,
Wisdom – puts into practice the making of right decisions in ones life – in thought, word and deed – based on the knowledge and understanding we have.

The opposite of knowledge is ignorance
The opposite of understanding, in this context, is being naive
The opposite of wisdom is foolishness

As one simply and succinctly put it, “Wisdom is the ability to live life skillfully.”

How often have we or others we know made foolish decisions that resulted in bad outcomes? Outcomes that could have easily been avoided if we had acted wisely instead.

As we go through life, we would do well to remember the words of Proverbs 4:7, which says, “Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom.”