1 Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning,
so do not forsake my teaching.
3 For I too was a son to my father,
still tender, and cherished by my mother.
4 Then he taught me, and he said to me,
“Take hold of my words with all your heart;
keep my commands, and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding;
do not forget my words or turn away from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
love her, and she will watch over you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
embrace her, and she will honor you.
It is embarrassing to admit how much you have learned that has long since been forgotten. For those who may not know, I have a Bachelors of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance. I sometimes joke that all that means is that there was a time in my life where I knew how to evaluate a stock price. There was a time in my life when I learned that and much more, but it’s knowledge that has not been retained.
But I do not expect to ever forget this piece of wisdom my Management 265 professor shared one day.
A leader must always be aware that there are three areas of knowledge affecting every decision you make. There are 1) things you know, 2) things you don’t know, and 3) things you don’t know that you don’t know. While no leader has the capacity to know everything, any leader who lacks the humility to the third category - that there are things they don’t know they don’t know - puts their leadership and their organization at incredible risk.
It sounds strange, but Management 265 taught me a lot about what it means to live as a disciple of Jesus. For those who may not know, a disciple is a student. A disciple is a life-long learner. A disciple lives with an insatiable appetite to learn and to grow in part because a disciple never loses the awareness that there will always be things you don’t know that you don’t know.
Look again at verse 7.
“The beginning of wisdom is this. Get wisdom.”
In other words, if you cannot see your need, you will always lack the appropriate desire to get wisdom. So don’t be foolish. Don’t put your life and future at risk. Don’t gamble away your opportunity to richly bless others and their future.
Instead, start right here.
Loving God, today I want to reaffirm my commitment to starting a brand new year well. I want to acknowledge again that I do not know everything and it is definitely possible that I do not even know today what wisdom I lack in my life right now. I surrender to you my pride. I surrender to you my fears. Clean out my ears so that I might listen. Open again my heart and mind that I might truly understand. Instead of gambling away my future, lead me in a willingness to place all of my faith in you. AMEN.
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version ® NIV ®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2014 by Biblica, Inc.®. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.