Friday, December 18, 2009

Valuing Wisdom, Understanding and Knowledge

I needed inspiration and encouragement from God in light of the impending economic woes that are to hit Jamaicans in 2010. So I opened my Bible and came to Proverbs 24. I will now share the verses that spoke to me in a special way.

Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: (Proverbs 24:3, KJV)

I believe the term "house" here refers to family or household. These times call for me to get wisdom and understanding especially as it relates to raising my family. Wisdom and understanding are the only things that can help someone starting a family survive and be prosperous despite today's difficulties.

It is important that those intending to start and raise families are willing to conduct research and desire to learn. To adopt a learning frame of mind, where one is always seeking information and reflecting on experience and the experience of others are important in helping to ensure that one builds a good, strong and united family unit. Yet, research and desire to learn how to raise a family should not be based on man's theories, but rather based on a search in the Word of G-d for insights into raising a family. Insights about how to relate to people are best studied and extracted from God's word which in turn can inform our experiences and practice.

People principles are most import today in management studies. God's revelation of people principles are far better than man's so called science of people principles and people development principles. After all, God is the manufacturer, while man is the the imitator. In fact, man's science is only the attempt to understand God's laws and principles. We study the causes and effects, while God is the one who created the very laws of cause and effect, and can change them if he wills.

One of the most important trait in order to be successful today (I believe), is the trait of nurturing and developing other people. This quality is demanded for today's leaders of any human organization. It is the trait required to build and manage teams and improve any organisation's performance. It is also a trait required for the expanded service industry, which has currently overtaken manufacturing and agricultural industries.

In checking the Vine's Complete Expository Dictionary, I discovered house too can also mean a geographic territory or a nation (Vine et al. 118). Thus, those who need to build a nation or to ensure that the nation is on a path of development, will also need to place a high value on wisdom and understanding.

And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:4)

The word of God confirms the value of being a knowledge worker. It shows that a knowledge worker will cash in and prosper from their knowledge. This is true not only for the individual, but also for nationhood. The economic development of nations requires the application of knowledge and the work of knowledge workers.

A wise man is strong, yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. (Proverbs 24:5)

Strength in these times comes from being wise. Wisdom in the Biblical chapter of Proverbs can be understood from the parables of insects such as the parable of the ant found in Proverbs 6:6-9. Essentially, the ants in the parable work to store food for winter, making use of opportunities all year long to preserve their survival in times of hardship.

Patricia Nordman puts it this way:
"Sometimes we have to forego, or sacrifice, a pleasure today so we can realize a goal tomorrow." (par. 3)

The knowledge worker will also increase his strength by working steadily throughout the year and seizing various opportunities to prepare himself for future possibilities or eventualities. Through research, continuous learning, and other personal and professional development initiatives, the knowledge worker will build upon his competencies, abilities and skills, so that he can be of greater value in society and economy, thereby attracting more value and economic rewards.

In fact, I just read this week a great article by Peter Drucker in the Harvard Business Review that declares:
"Success in knowledge economy comes to those who know themselves - their strengths, their values, and how they best perform"(32).

Finally, I examined a verse that really admonished me:
"If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small." (Proverbs 24:10, KJV)

Through wisdom, knowledge and understanding, we take actions today and prepare for future possibilities and problems. Then when the situations do arise, we are prepared to face these challenges, because we have been preparing for them and have been developing the character and mindset to face them.

Those who faint during adversity are the unprepared. Hence their character and strength to face the situation is weak. Survival though depends on the desire not to learn from what is taking place and use it to make you better for the future.

I thank God that he is helping me to build character so that in times of adversity, I will be strong and prepared. May you too be encouraged that God is doing the same in you.

Works Cited:

Drucker, Peter. "Managing Oneself." Harvard Business Review OnPoint 2009, p.32-42.

Nordman, Patricia "Go to the Ant." 6 May. 2006 19 Dec. 2009 .

Vine, W. E., Merrill F. Unger and William White. “House.” Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words: With Topical Index. Nashville: Thompson Nelson Publishers, 1996.

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