Scripture Focus: But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:17
We have a friend who is married to a highly opinionated man. Our friend’s husband is among those persons who tend to see the world in black and white, with no shades of gray in between. Not surprisingly, he has a very detailed theological view on every issue and he tends to leave a church if the pastor strays from what he considers true religion.
Our friend, at her husband’s insistence, ends up changing churches fairly often.
In private moments, our friend will sometimes tell us that she wishes her husband would learn how to give in. Whether the question is how to spend money, how to discipline or raise their children, or the precise meaning of an obscure passage in Scripture, our friend’s husband believes that he knows the only true, correct, and valid answer. He believes that he alone is right and those who disagree with him are simply wrong.
Do you know anyone like this? If so, think about him or her for a moment. Would you describe this person as one of the wisest people you’ve ever met?
Probably not. One aspect of wisdom involves learning to listen, learning to genuinely consider the views of others, and learning how and when to compromise or yield. While we should never compromise on a central biblical truth, is there really only one right way to hang a roll of toilet paper, or correct a child, or spend a dollar? Probably not.
Wisdom --- true wisdom, the wisdom from above --- is willing to yield. Wisdom lets someone else be right, and allows someone else to have it their way. Those who are truly wise tend to be humble, teachable, and good listeners. They are women and men who are willing to learn from the perspectives, experiences, and values of those around them.
For your personal reflection:
Prayer: Lord, I am coming to You today to ask for wisdom. Specifically, I ask You to give me wisdom that is willing to yield. You know me: You know that sometimes I insist on having my own way. I know I’m right and I say so! Please help me consider the fact that others have valid and useful opinions too. Help me close my mouth, open my ears, and be willing to yield to, and learn from, the wisdom of my life partner.