Solomon was so wise, and so stupid.
Everyone knows the story, 2 women come to Solomon for a decision. They had both had newborns and 1 had died. One of the women decided to switch the babies thinking, “They’re newborns! They all look alike, she’ll never know!” The other woman KNEW. So they fought and then decided to go to the king for a decision. He listened and then told one of his minions to bring him his sword and they’d cut the baby in 1/2 and give each woman a part. The biological mother screamed, “NO!!!!!” and the other woman said, “Sure.” Which one was the real mom? Well Duh. So that showed everyone in the country how wise he was.
“And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart,” First Kings 11:1-3. He was only supposed to have one wife. Did he listen to his adviser? Surely doesn’t appear that he did. How wise was that?
If you ever read Proverbs, you can see that in many many areas, he was spot on with his advice. Why didn’t he take it? Why didn’t the wisest man in history take his own advice? Why didn’t the wisest man on earth listen to his advisers? Why didn’t the wisest man read and meditate on the words of his God? Same as the rest of us? Aha! So we come to the conclusion that it is easier for someone to give advice who is not close to the situation and embroiled in the emotional turmoil of every day relationships and events. Solomon, by the time he was midway through his reign, was neck deep in international relations, affairs of state, domestic troubles, and had 700 Mothers-in-Law! Few, if any, of his wives were Jewish, and they had been raised in polytheistic and pagan cultures. His father, David, had built up an impressive country with a reputation that was widespread. Solomon took that country and made it even bigger and more prestigious! But Solomon’s sons, who had the benefit of living in his house and having his counsel basically destroyed all that had been built up. Because he didn’t take his own advice, neither did his sons.
Why do I go on about this? If you have the benefit of wise counsel, and make good use of their recommendations, you will prosper. In this blog, I will endeavor to gather wisdom from many sources: business people, philosophers, men of God, women of insight, moms, dads, grandparents, experts in many fields and more.
The First step then is to actively seek wisdom. I am not talking about degrees or certifications. This is not about how much you know, but how well you see into the human condition, how well do you recognize patterns in the occurrences around you, and how well you can use your observations to adjust your perspective, your attitude, and your behavior to enhance the quality of your life.
Where can you seek wisdom? That is the $64,000 question. (I dated myself didn’t I.) Read! The bible is always a good source of wisdom. You can start with Proverbs, read the books of Moses–Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy–the wisdom of Jesus in the New testament gospels, and branch out from there. You can read books by John Maxwell, Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Tom Osborne and others in the leadership area. You can also read the plays of Shakespeare, the stories and essays of Mark Twain, Ghandi, Churchill and Lincoln. Talk to the wise people in your life. You might have a wise uncle, a great boss/mentor, a beloved teacher, a parent, a neighbor, someone who takes the big picture and makes it accessible to you. You can join groups to discuss your thoughts and insights, and so you can listen to the wisdom of others. Listen to the comedians! They will change your point of view and give you a different perspective on events and conditions in our world.
Your 1st nudge into wisdom? Don’t worry about how hard you hit the bottom, because everyone hits bottom if they’re moving at all. “The harder you hit the bottom, the higher you bounce.” John Paul Warren