Having wisdom doesn’t mean you have made all wise decisions. In fact, it could mean the exact opposite.
Wisdom often comes from painful experience. Hard times. Failure. Disappointment.
My son tweeted recently “@NateEdmondson: I’m always encouraged by the wisdom of @RonEdmondson.”
Am I bragging by sharing that tweet? Maybe, but it was also a great reminder to me.
Some of the greatest wisdom I have gained has come from some very foolish decisions I made in life. Many times you could have easily called me a fool. Hopefully I’ve learned from those times and can share my experiences with others. But, they are foolish times in my life where I hope my sons are learning some of their wisdom from my bad decisions.
The Bible is full of this concept? Take for example Solomon, supposedly the wisest man of all times.
Those who know his story know he made many mistakes. Read 1 Kings 11:1-4, as an example. Then read Ecclesiastes 10:1-3, 8-10 It’s almost like Solomon was saying, “I’ve learned a few things…take it from me…” Solomon was full of wisdom, given to him by God, but much of that wisdom, especially towards the end of his life, apparently came through experience.
Life experience, good and bad, has a way of smoothing out the rough edges of a person’s life and over time gives a person wisdom. Sometimes the “wise old man” (or woman), didn’t get that way by living a perfect life, but by learning from the times of imperfection.
So the point or this post…there are two:
Be willing to learn from people that have failed greatly.
Be assured that their wisdom today can protect you from making some of their same mistakes.
Allow others to learn from your times of foolishness.
How has the foolishness of others…or your own foolishness…shaped your life?
(For those who may ask, I bought this picture from iStock, so I don’t know the guy. If he’s your grandfather, I don’t mean to offend, but he posed for this picture sometime…of course, probably not knowing it would be used in this post. I was simply looking for the picture of an older man. I am sure he is a very nice man, but I bet if you could find him, you’d find a man that would agree he’s learned a lot from his mistakes in life.)