Nobody wants others to think they are stupid. That would be awful! Think of the possible bullying, the job implications, and how others would look down on you. And of course seeing yourself as stupid might be the most disastrous of all.
Forrest Gump may have been a pleasant, lovable character in the movie, but nobody wants to be him. Even Forrest hoped his son was smart.
The Bible has a lot to say about being wise and being foolish. Proverbs presents Wisdom as a beautiful woman calling out to those who aren’t so smart: “For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” (Prov. 8:35)
So wisdom must be something we can obtain. We’re not doomed to be “stupid” all our lives.
Here are five ways you can find wisdom, and keep from being stupid:
- Learn from others who are smart.
You can find out a lot about a person by looking at the people they hang out with. It’s one of the biggest determinants of your future. Consciously seek out opportunities to be around people who have done things you admire, and who you want to be like. And ask lots of questions when you get a chance. A lot can rub off on you. “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.” (Prov. 9:9)
- Learn from your own mistakes. All of us make mistakes. You cannot live and accomplish anything without making lots of them. But what’s important is what you do next. Each time you get a negative result, stop and look at what you can learn from the experience. Can you do anything differently next time? How sad it would be to not be any wiser next year than you are right now!
- Think about your thinking. The people who are least successful think and talk most about other people. Those who are moderately successful think and talk about events. And those who are the most successful think and talk about ideas. Get away from the celebrity gossip! By reading, finding experiences, or learning from other people, put big thoughts into your mind. They are likely to grow.
- Focus on more than intellectual knowledge. Simply knowing facts doesn’t get you very far. Emotional intelligence is at least as important. So are things like understanding people, and understanding the ways of God. Choosing to invest your mind in learning those kinds of things will pay off richly. “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” (Eccl. 12:12)
- Read the Bible. In some circles that would sound like a crazy way to keep from being stupid. But we know some of the ways in which reading the Bible can stretch your mind and help you become wiser. And beyond that, the Holy Spirit loves to take what you read and use it to make you wiser than you would have imagined. After all, He is wisest of all: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Cor. 1:25)
You don’t have to stay stupid! “Why is there a price in the hand of a fool to buy wisdom, when he has no sense?” (Prov. 17:16)
Wisdom is there for the asking! God has an endless supply. “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
Your Turn: In what area do YOU want to become wiser? Leave a comment below.
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