How do Wisdom and Selling go together?

Welcome to Wisdom Selling. So if you are like me, you are always wanting to learn more. Well here is the deal about selling. It is the desire to exchange something you have, for something of more value to you. You may have an idea, a product, a service which people will want to pay for, allowing you to make a profit. You have to seek out people who might want it, and convince them it is worth the price you are charging. Or like me, you may just have a little wisdom, and are looking for someone who values it enough to want to use it. My value received in return is the joy of your feedback. So, I am selling wisdom. The cost to you, your interest. I want to help others as well. Visit the links page and shop for some good deals. Any profits on money you spend there will be used by Wisdom Selling to support non-profit businesses in developing their strategies.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Thoughts on Wisdom - Part 2 - who do you share your wisdom with?

King Solomon was not the kind of person to really hold back his feelings on a subject.  You ever know a person like that?  They just lay it all out there and expect you to receive it without caring one bit whether or not you are helped or insulted.  Apparently, I am like that a bit, and have spent some time trying to repair relationships where my intentions were good, but my methods were suspect.  Like the time I told the neighbor's kids in front of their mom that someone was going to call the cops on them someday if they didn't stop pestering the little kids?  Not the best move I have ever made.  The intent was to help them put a price on negative behavior but the mom was ticked off at me for about two months.  Yikes.  In the end, they realized my intentions, but I tiptoed around for a while in the side yard.

Here is some straightforward wise advice from the 9th chapter of the Proverbs of Solomon and others.  The chapter is often subtitled, invitations of wisdom or folly.

Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding.
Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse.
Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you.
Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.

This is an interesting point of view for me, as I have always been one who goes after those who are mockers or doubters, or even wicked, with the ideas that I can somehow change them.  I believe that Solomon is speaking not about the gift of compassion which means you care about someone who does not believe what you believe.  He is, instead, speaking about how wise people invest their time.

Each of us has those people we care about, and we want them to have a good life and be successful.  Especially in our families, our churches, our neighborhoods, we have people that we just want to encourage or support even though we don't agree with their lifestyle or their points of view.  I don't think this is the situation Solomon is addressing at all.  We all need to care about others and try and support them as they seek the truth in life.

Solomon is really talking more about how we prioritize our lives.  Think for a minute about how you spend your time with others.  If you are a business leader, how much time do you spend trying to bring up the performance of the weak employees, or those that don't fit, at the expense of those who could benefit from your guidance and really change the company?  Who have you withheld your wisdom from that could have grown and become even wiser, as they would take everything you give them and grow with it?

As a teacher, do you find yourself always trying to convince the skeptic, rather than develop the willing learner?  As a parent, do you recognize the difference in your child's friends, the ones who can receive wisdom and the ones that mock it?  Can you help your child see the difference?

I believe Solomon is giving us a great model for investment in others.  Whether through mentoring, teaching or leading, it is as important to select those with whom you share your wisdom as it is the content.  There will be those who cannot or will not receive what you have to say or demonstrate with a willing spirit, and it falls off them like rain off a roof, spilling down and running off, wasted.  Solomon says even more than wasted, it can actually evoke feelings of hatred toward you from those who are not inclined to hear it.  Imagine, being so full of wisdom, wanting to share it, yet being hated for doing so?  Sounds irrational, but if we examine our circumstances, we can all think of times when we were resented for saying something.  I have seen my kids, when they were at the less wise points in their lives, really hate the times when I sit them down to share what I think is good wisdom and learning for them.  In one ear and out the other, it appears.  I have seen leaders, who did not want to think me wiser than them, turn full away from my message to prevent it from influencing their decisions.

The point is this.  Love unconditionally, look for opportunities to help a "mocker" want to be wise, but invest your wisdom in those who will appreciate it and learn from it.  The world needs a new generation of wisdom quickly, and we don't have the luxury of choosing who is willing to receive it.

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