“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
- King Solomon
There are numerous intelligent people who are not wise. In fact, some of the most prominent people in our society claim to be the smartest ones. But, when you see their behaviors—chauvinism, bigotry, lying and laziness—you realize they are not wise. Their intelligence helped them achieve success in academia, athletics, politics, business and entertainment. But, their lack of wisdom brings disgrace upon them, their families and everyone who ever supported them.
To gain wisdom, we must exercise Humility and be willing to learn from our mistakes. Without Humility, even the most intelligent people walk a road to destruction.
I saw this happen with a friend of mine. Every time I disagreed with him, he would nod his head as if he were listening. But then, he would double down on his own argument. One night, he shared a business strategy he had implemented with his team. I challenged him on it because I believed he was about to cross an ethical line. His response was to rationalize his motivations and bring forth data to prove he was right. I challenged him again on the ethics of his decision. Yet, he believed he had a better understanding of the situation than I did.
There was no doubt in my mind regarding his intelligence. He graduated from one of the most prestigious schools in the country. He was borderline brilliant. But unfortunately, his pride told him he could win any debate. He believed his knowledge would prove him right.
"The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice."
- King Solomon
Disgrace came to my friend a few years later. He was caught crossing ethical lines in his business and lost everything. His intelligence had indeed helped him get to the top of his profession. But, his pride brought him back to the bottom. Watching his life implode due to his choices taught me a valuable lesson. It echoed what King Solomon shared years earlier. I know I need to seek to be humble enough to listen to the advice of others. If I am ever challenged about the ethics of a choice I am about to make, I need to step away from the decision and reevaluate the wisdom of my choices. Our willingness to step away, put aside our pride, and listen is an exercise in Humility.
Dig Deep Questions:
When have you ignored advice and regretted it?
Who are your trusted advisors today?
King Solomon’s Quotes: Proverbs 11:2 NIV & 12:15 respectively
Scripture quotations taken from The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV® Copyright © 1973 1978 1984 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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