- Dr. Stieglitz
Breakfast with Solomon - Proverbs 13:10
"Through insolence comes nothing but strife, but wisdom is with those who receive counsel."
This is a fascinating proverb because it is a proverb that will have to be used backwards in order to have any application.
The word insolence is the Hebrew word zed which means proud, arrogant, insolence. It means to boil and would carry the idea of an unwillingness to let others lead and a strong pride and superiority.
Very few of us are able to see when we are proud, insolent, and arrogant. We just believe that we are right and sticking up for principle. So we need to look at this Proverb backwards.
The word strife is the Hebrew word massa which means strife, contention, or our idea of argument. In order for there to be strife and argumentation, one person or both have to believe that their position is superior to the other person's. There is arrogance and pride present if there is strife.
One way to really examine if there is pride in your life is to see if you have strife, contention, and arguments. If you are regularly disagreeing with people, you are proud and arrogant. You need to practice a new level of humility. Disagreements often take place because our opinions are elevated to convictions and shared with everyone.
but wisdom is with those who receive counsel
The antidote is to get perspective from lots of different people. In fact, there is the hint in this second section of this proverb that we should see those who disagree with us as counselors rather than antagonists. This person is just sharing a different perspective than the one I hold as a position for me to consider. They are acting as my counselor. It would be wise for me to consider a number of positions given by others who hold those positions passionately and strongly even after I have come up with what I think might be the best solution.
View other people's disagreements as other potential actions. View them as potential wise counsel given to you by others.
There is always a kernel of truth and real effectiveness in other people's proposals. Their proposal contains an element of the other’s winning aspect of wisdom, therefore, I need to listen to what they are really saying and potentially why they are saying it.
I have watched people whose whole life is one big argument and disagreement. They are arrogant people who believe that their perspective should win the day because it is theirs. They often move from job to job from marriage to marriage from friend to friend and from church to church because people "refuse" to see it the right way.
Don't be like this. If you are having a lot of disagreements lately, look for the wisdom in the other person's perspective. Confess the pride that is in your life to maintain the contrarian position. Try and come up with a solution that will incorporate the kernel of truth of the other person's position while accomplishing the kernel of your own idea.
Be willing to admit that you are proud.
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