Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wisdom in your Strength

In Proverbs 31:15 we read that wisdom assigns portions to her servant girls. This passage is not only talking about taking care of their physical needs with food but also their tasks for the day. Now I do not know anyone today who has servants or live in help but we all have people in our lives whom we work with. A wise person knows that people work best when they are working with their strengths. The wise person knows how to discover the strengths of those around and allows them to use these to accomplish the goal.
Delegation is one of the hardest things that I do. I often feel like I need to do all of the jobs in order to insure that it is done "right." "Right" of course being my way. What this does is two things. First it prevents those around me from using their gifts to enhance the kingdom of God. Second it makes me irritable, angry and unbearable for my husband and children to be around. When I am trying to do tasks that I have not been gifted to do I am stealing the joy that others may have doing something that I find mundane and overwhelming.
A wise person knows that they can not do it all and if they try it will overwhelm them. A wise person finds the strengths of those around them then allows them to complete their tasks without looking over their shoulder, offering suggestions of the better way accomplish it. By micromanaging we are telling the person that although we accepted their help we really don't think they are capable of accomplishing the task. We diminish their gifts and insist that only ours are important.
How sad that we think so highly of ourselves that we can not appreciate the talents and abilities that God has given to others. A wise person not only knows how to discover the strengths of those around them but also how to cultivate them. A wise person does not see asking for help as a weakness but sees it as an opportunity for others to use the talents and abilities that God has given them.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wisdom In Words

Proverbs 31 is a summary of the entire book of Proverbs condensed into twenty-one verses. So it's no surprise that the passage mentions that a wise person uses wise words. Proverbs 31:26 says, "She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." While this means that she does not gossip or slander, it also means that she uses her words wisely for faithful instruction. Not for idle chit chat, but for instruction. It also means that her words are calming. Her words bring joy to others hearts. Her words do not demean, but encourage. Her words are not said in haste and anger, but with love and patience.

I find that at times the tone of my words says a lot more than the words themselves.When repeating the same instructions I have already given two times before, my words may be the same, but my tone can take a sharp edge. Or when trying to win an argument I become more concerned with getting my point across than with how my words are affecting the other person.

It is the words spoken to us that resonate in our soul longer than anything else can. The old saying,"Sticks and Stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me," is a lie. Words hurt worse than any physical pain. Words spoken in anger, hurt,and sarcasm seem to have sticking power far longer than words spoken in love, patience, and joy.

What a world it would be if we learned to speak words of wisdom and faithful instruction. Our children would grow up without the weight of carelessly tossed words. Our spouses would never feel the bite of our sarcasm.

A person of wisdom knows that their words have a powerful impact on the people around them. And they choose wisely the words and the tone in which they are spoken.