NIV – “My son, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you, turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding– indeed, if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding, and if you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”
A couple years ago, during the 2010 NFL Draft, Tim Tebow sat anxiously waiting to hear his name called by a team. We all know the story by now…
“Roundly rejected as having little to no chance at being a reliable starter, Tebow started this season as a complete underdog. People said he didn’t have the arm, that he couldn’t throw the ball downfield. People castigated him for his religious beliefs, his cliched good-old-boy demeanor, his aw-shucks personality. They said he wouldn’t make it through the season. They were wrong. Not only did Tebow lead the Broncos to six consecutive wins, four of those games were come-from-behind victories against teams that were considered superior. This streak led them to the playoffs, where they mounted a stunning and improbable victory against Super Bowl contender Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Tim is a great example of someone who has a vivid dream. That dream is to not only play in the NFL but to be effective and successful in playing at that level. That dream fuels him to persist and work hard during the pursuit.
Like Tim pursues his dream everyday through working hard on and off the field, I believe this is how God wants us to pursue wisdom. Life isn’t meant to be easy but whether we are in good times or bad, we need to proactively pursue wisdom. In verse 4 in the NIV translation, it says that we should “look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure.” Even better, The Message translation says that we need to “search for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt.” I think we get the picture. And when we find wisdom, God says we will understand the fear of the Lord.
There are three ways to proactively pursue wisdom on a daily basis.
1) Follow the Vertical Alignment. Start with God.
All wisdom ultimately comes from God and we, as followers of Christ in the business world, need to daily pursue wisdom in God’s Word. Psalm 119:105 says it perfectly:
“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”
In order for God to direct our paths, we need to be meeting with Him daily through reading, praying and listening. In these moments with God, He takes the scales off of our eyes which makes us able to see the Light. Furthermore, the Bible is the ultimate handbook on how to be successful in life’s endeavors.
2) Surround ourselves with wiser people.
It’s as simple as that. If we want to be wiser people, we need to spend time with people who are wiser than ourselves. For example, before Chelsie and I got married, we went through pre-marital counseling with my grandpa and our pastor, Jack Janigian. Why? Because Chelsie and I want to receive wisdom in order to have a successful marriage and we know that my grandparents and Jack and Courtney have had successful marriages.
One of the most important decisions we can make in our professional lives is to find a mentor. If you are an entrepreneur, spend time with someone who has been an entrepreneur for a longer time than you and has the success that you would like to have. The best way to gain knowledge and wisdom in business is not through making mistakes yourself, it’s by learning from other people’s mistakes and how ultimately they persevered through them and became successful.
3) Spend time reading and listening to wise people.
We need to dedicate time daily to gaining wisdom through reading books and listening to CDs, podcasts, mp3s, etc. There are infinite resources available to study. If you are in a leadership position, start studying books, CDs and podcasts by an author/speaker like, for example, Dr. John Maxwell. He is one of my personal favorites. I also enjoy listening to pastors’ sermons on podcasts. When it comes to accounting and personal finance, I listen and read Robert Kiyosaki. If you aren’t currently dedicating time to these types of activities, don’t be discouraged. Just start today. Go to Barnes and Noble and spend an hour or two looking at books. You can also go on iTunes and find just about any speakers’ podcasts. There is a reason these people are writing books and speaking. They have success and are willing to share the knowledge they received through doing what they did. Find someone who has accomplished what you are looking to accomplish and study them.