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Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Truth to Remember

About a year ago while I was in a ladies Sunday school class the teacher asked a question that we should all want to know the answer to. "What is wisdom?" Since I've heard this question many times I offered my answer. "Wisdom is not just knowing what to say, but when to say it."

Having all the knowledge in the world will do little good if you don't know how to use it correctly. Giving untimely knowledge is like someone telling me to bundle up before I go for a walk in the summer. Why would I want to do that when it's 98 degrees outside? Maybe in a few months I'll need to pile on the coats to face the cold, but in the summer that advice is going to do me no good.

Wisdom is the same way. When knowledge is given too often or at the wrong time it is not going to sink into one's mind. We have to look closely at peoples lives and be sensitive enough to see those "go ahead" triggers.

Imagine you are a young mother raising your first child. You haven't figured everything out yet but you think your child is perfect despite all the things she does wrong. When she pitches a fit you think she is just going through a stage and as soon as the temper tantrum is over you are back to talking about how sweet your child is. If ever an angel did live, it was her.

Susie, on the other hand, has raised many children and knows that if these bad habits aren't taken care of at a young age you will lose control of your daughter. So Susie goes to you and tells you quite bluntly that you need to discipline your daughter better and she knows the best way to do it if you'll only listen. You would most likely be taken back because you didn't realize there was a problem! You thought you were doing just fine. You might even think, who is she to tell me how to raise my child? She needs to stay out of my business! The knowledge she gave is true, but it was given at the wrong time. If Susie felt the need to talk to her she should do it in a very calm way as if to suggest, but without going into a lot of detail. If you really wanted to know more, you would ask questions.

Now lets look at it in a different light. You realize that your daughter is getting out of hand more and more each day and you worry about how she acts when she doesn't get her way. You may have even voiced once or twice that you just don't know what you are going to do with her. When Susie hears your frustration she is able to reply with a way to discipline her. Since you are looking for a different method of training your child you listen to every word she says not wanting to miss a thing! This is knowledge given at a the right time and is very effectual.

This is just one of many examples. We all need to be reminded how important it is to wait for the right moment to speak. Knowledge given at the right time can make a world of difference.

"Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will
despise the wisdom of thy words."
~ Proverbs 23:9 ~


Sandra said...

How true Jennifer. It takes more than having knowledge to be effective. We must know when and how to use it.

Katie said...

Great post! A very good thought. : )