“But I have never been through this before.”
This common statement peeves me a bit as it makes at least two assumptions:
- The only way to understand a process is to personally live through it; and
- Life is, or should be, routine, predictable and repetitive.
Maybe my law-school-damaged brain is not thinking about it correctly, but I see many ways one can learn and gain wisdom without having to endure every experience–the thrill of every victory and the agony of every defeat.
Here are some ways maybe we should all be learning from and gaining wisdom:
LISTEN TO YOUR EXPERIENCED ELDERS: Apprenticing ourselves to an expert–whether in welding or in life–the wise take advantage of the wisdom of their elders. In Proverbs, a Father warns his Sons to stick to what was taught to him by his father, which apparently has served him well in his own life:
Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight, for I give you good precepts; do not forsake my teaching. When I was a son with my father, tender, the only one in the sight of my mother, he taught me and said to me, “Let your heart hold fast my words; keep my commandments, and live. Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.”Proverbs 4:1-5
OBSERVING NATURE. In Proverbs 6:6-11, the teacher tells the student to go look at the ant, observe his ways, and learn diligence.
WALKING WITH GOD. “The fear of Yahweh is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” (1:7) It is only in Christ himself “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.” (Col. 2:2-3)
LEARNING FROM EXPERIENCE. Experience will keep you from making mistakes. But, experience comes mostly from making mistakes.
OBSERVING OTHERS. Proverbs 14:16 ESV “One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.” Proverbs 10:8 ESV “The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.”
LEARNING FROM CORRECTION. Teachable men, under the authority and instruction of older men, are seldom the root of a problem. The proud never learn from their mistakes that eventually lead to their destruction. (Prov. 16:18) “Those who guard discipline are on the way to life, and those who abandon correction wander aimlessly.” (10:17) “Those who love discipline love knowledge; and those who hate correction are dullards.” (12:1)
Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in truck, motorcycle, and car crashes. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.