W48D5 - Wisdom

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,
who gives generously to all without finding fault,
and it will be given to you. But when you ask,
you must believe and not doubt, because the one
who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and
tossed by the wind. That person should not
expect to receive anything from the Lord" - James 1:5-7.

Wisdom has been defined many ways, including knowledge in action. It is taking existing information and applying it to unique or new situations in creative ways. Today's passage directs anyone who lacks wisdom to ask for it, but then not doubt after the petition is made. It is easy to doubt, however, because the wisdom sent is often counterintuitive, or the mind of the asker is often so conditioned that he or she cannot even receive the wisdom dispatched. Leaders need wisdom but because of their experience, they often dismiss new ways of doing things with a curt, "That won't work." Once leaders ask, they must be open that what comes to them is an answer to their prayer, and not dismiss it too quickly.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to choose one leadership situation in which you are involved that isn't going well. You are to spend 15 minutes today praying about that scenario, asking God to give you wisdom. Then pay close attention to your thoughts, being careful not to dismiss them too quickly as bizarre or impossible. Also be alert today to listen and watch for things that come your way to see if any of them are answers to your prayer.


W43D5 - Wisdom

"So Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'I hereby
put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt'" - Genesis 41:41.

There are two Pharaohs prominently featured in the Bible. One was the 'bad' Pharaoh who oppressed Moses and his people. The other 'good' Pharaoh was the one mentioned in today's verse who recognized Joseph's plan to save Egypt as sound, and promoted Joseph to the number two position in all the land. Keep in mind that Pharaoh had just met Joseph when the latter came into Pharaoh's presence to interpret two dreams. This appointment required great courage and wisdom, for Pharaoh turned to a convicted felon who had distinguished himself in jail rather than any of the other Egyptian advisers. Leaders must use wisdom in hiring the right people and if they cannot recognize talent, then they need to have someone among their advisers who can.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to examine your hiring track record to see if you have wisdom where recognizing talent is concerned. Have the last few people you have hired become productive members of your team? Are you sure, or are you ignoring their dysfunction because you hired them? Are you hiring too quickly? Is there someone on your team who is more adept at recognizing talent? What is stopping you from relying on their insight instead of your own? Is it pride?


W38D5 - Wisdom

"Who is wise? Let them realize these things.
    Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
    the righteous walk in them,
    but the rebellious stumble in them" - Hosea 14:9.

The prophet Hosea reiterated what other prophets and wisdom writers had written and said: true wisdom is to know and walk in the fear of the Lord and the ways of God. God's ways 'work,' for He is committed to be personally involved in any processes or relationships dedicated and committed to do His will, regardless of the cost. That does not mean that the righteous (including leaders) won't be tested or even experience outcomes that in the short run do not work out for their personal gain or benefit. Yet wise leaders walk in God's will because it is the right thing to do and not because it always works out to their advantage.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to once again review and study wisdom where it is mostly found in the Bible and that is the book of Proverbs. Go to the Bible Gateway site and enter a search for the words wise or wisdom and look over the lists (there are many references). Choose three verses to reflect on today, and then choose three more every day this week. Jot down in your journal your insights into wisdom and how you can apply it to your current situation.


W33D5 - Wisdom

"God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight,
and a breadth of understanding as measureless as
the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was
greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East,
and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt" - 1 Kings 4:29-30.

Apparently there were some people in the ancient world who made their living from and built a reputation on a special ability to obtain and dispense wisdom. The best of them all was Solomon, who God gave a gift of wisdom and understanding. There was a day when the world came to the church and its leaders for wisdom, teaching and insight. There was a day when great explorers, inventors and innovators came from the church, spurred on in their work by their faith. No matter how naturally gifted or intelligent leaders are, the best leaders still access supernatural or divine wisdom to help them do the work God assigned them to do.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Solomon got wisdom in response to his prayer, which God was only too eager to answer. Your Step today is a simple one. From this day forward, you will do as Solomon did: Ask for wisdom, according to James 1:6: "But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt." After you ask, actively listen and watch for God's response; then quickly apply it to your situations. "Believe, ask, listen/watch, apply" is now your daily practice.


W28D5 - Wisdom

"God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight,
and a breadth of understanding as measureless as
the sand on the seashore. Solomon’s wisdom was
greater than the wisdom of all the people of the East,
and greater than all the wisdom of Egypt" - 1 Kings 4:29-30.

While wisdom can come from experiences of both success and failure, it is also a divine gift. While there is a 'wisdom of Egypt' that is relevant and pertinent, there is the wisdom of and from God that is superior to any other source. What's more, it is a gift that seems to vary in scope and topic from person to person, according to God's sovereign plan. Solomon's wisdom surpassed all his contemporaries and was 'measureless.' If leaders are going to lead well, then they need to find people who are sources of this 'divine' wisdom - gifted people in their areas of work. It is not enough that those people have the knowledge or skill in their area of expertise, but also have wisdom for how to apply that knowledge to the organization itself.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Your Step today is to evaluate your current team for their wisdom - ability to apply their knowledge in their current setting with the team you now have. Once you have identified them, then establish a 'wisdom team' and make them a member. You don't have to officially form or name that team; only you have to know that it is a group of people who seem to have insight beyond their years or work area that can help your department or business prosper.


W23D5 - Wisdom

“See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur,
of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the
Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with
knowledge and with all kinds of skills—" - Exodus 31:2-3.

God fillled Bezalel with skill and wisdom, then He chose him to work on the tabernacle. Leaders need to follow the same pattern. First, they need to recognize the gifts and talents of those around them. Leaders need to be acquainted with where and when their followers can be counted on to perform and even lead. Second, leaders need to identify those who are not only gifted but who also have wisdom, which is knowledge that is practically applied. Finally, leaders need to 'promote' people who can perform and flow well in a team setting under the leader's guidance.

LEADERSHIP STEP: You know what it feels like to be promoted. Today, it's your turn to promote others. Are there those who have performed well on your team and who also have wisdom to get along with others? Then recognize their skill and wisdom by promoting them, even creating new positions and titles to recognize both their skill and their wisdom. If you don't promote those whom God has specially gifted to perform great work, you will lose them and their talent.


Week Nineteen, Day One - Wisdom

"So I said, 'Wisdom is better than strength.'
But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and
his words are no longer heeded" - Ecclesiastes 9:16.

Wisdom is a form of strength and competitive advantage, and that makes it a form of strength in itself. Leaders are expected to have wisdom and know how to apply it in their work or social settings. Yet if a wise person is 'poor' - has no position or authority, then his or her wisdom has no platform from which to operate and affect other people or life situations. Therefore to be a good steward of wisdom, a leader must actively seek opportunities for that wisdom to be showcased and become an important corporate strength.

LEADERSHIP STEP: As a wise leader, you must create platforms for your wisdom to make a difference. Your step today is to be creative and think of ways for your wisdom to be released. One way is training. The other way is to speak up more often in meetings. The third is to write or broadcast. Think of some other ways with which you are comfortable to speak wisdom and then overcome any false sense of humility to do just that, for it will certainly help and bless many.


W13D5 - Wisdom

"Counsel and sound judgment are mine;
    I have insight, I have power" - Proverbs 8:14.

The personification of wisdom is speaking in this week and claims to bring four benefits from its application: counsel, sound judgment, insight and power. Leaders need all four of these helpers as they lead their organization or family. One of the four, however, that is perhaps most discussed and coveted among leaders is power, which of course can be used to help or harm. The power from wisdom can only help, and derives from a leader's ability to sort through various unknown options and chooses the one that greatly benefits the people and organization.

LEADERSHIP STEP: It is a thought among some modern authors that you become an expert in anything if you apply yourself and invest 10,000 hours in that particular practice. This writer's choice was to put the hours into the concept of purpose and today he is known for his purpose wisdom. Your step today is to identify an area in which you are willing to invest the hours to become a source of wisdom. Then determine what you can do in those hours to make you wise.


W8D5 - Wisdom

"Give me now wisdom and knowledge,
that I may go out and come in before
this people, for who can rule this great
people of Yours?” - 2 Chronicles 1:10.

There is an aspect of wisdom that a leader earns through experience and study. Then there is wisdom that God gives leaders that helps them recognize opportunities and threats for their family or organization. Wisdom also helps leaders 'connect the dots,' which means they recognize patterns that help them discern what is happening today based on what they have seen in the past or what God gives them special insight to see. When Solomon asked for wisdom in this verse, it enabled him to recognize the dilemma presented to him shortly thereafter when two women came each claiming that a certain baby was theirs. Solomon's God-given wisdom helped him make the right decision.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Do you have the wisdom you need to lead effectively? Your experience will not be enough to get the job done, but will also require God's help. First, read James 1:5-8. Then pray that God will open your eyes and ears to receive what you need. You must not second-guess or doubt the process, however, but trust that God will give you what you need, perhaps through others, or something you read, or some thought you have about a past experience.


W3D5 - Wisdom

" . . . let the wise listen and add to their learning,
    and let the discerning get guidance" - Proverbs 1:5.

Yesterday we discussed knowledge and today we look at wisdom. Leaders must amass and develop wisdom, which is knowledge applied to life situations, usually situations that you have never faced before. Today's verse indicates one way to get wisdom and that is to 'listen.' To what do you listen? First of all, other people especially those who have done something similar to what you are attempting to do. Then, to your heart, for if you have cared for it, it will speak to you. Finally, and most importantly, you listen to the Lord, who will speak through His still small voice and His word. Do all those things and you will have all the wisdom you will need.

LEADERSHIP STEP: Have you ever gone to a party or meeting, been introduced to people and then immediately forget their names. Your step today is make an effort from this day forward to listen to, use and remember people's names. No excuses, but make an effort to do this. Why? Because it is a practical way to help you sharpen and develop your listening skills. Work on names and wisdom will not be far behind!