By Lynn Roush
Lynn Roush, MA, PLPC started a Counseling Ministry at The Crossing in Columbia, Missouri 14 years ago, and has enjoyed providing counseling and teaching classes on marriage and parenting ever since. As a Christian counselor, Lynn strives to integrate biblical wisdom on human nature with sound psychological research on human development to help people grow. Lynn enjoys CrossFit, watching her 3 kids play sports, and sitting on porch swings with her husband.
Life is complicated and we often face circumstances that require wisdom beyond our personal scope of understanding. Wisdom is the application of truth to the specifics and particulars of life. It starts with reverence for God and His order of creation and design for human relationships and is gained over the course of a lifetime. Who should we seek out when we have a problem or crisis and need wisdom that cannot be retrieved doing an internet search?
A wise person understands the complexities of life so they are not bound by “black and white thinking.” Instead of seeing issues as rigid and inflexible, they see that much of life consists of varying shades of gray. This allows them to entertain different perspectives that may not fit into neat categories and sit with the tension that accompanies the messiness of life, which makes them an approachable person.
A wise person sees patterns and themes in people and in the seasons of life. This type of “big picture” perspective allows them to look beyond a fleeting moment in time and perceive the deeper context and scope of the current crisis. They can “see” what is “unseen”, and such insight can bring clarity and hope in what may otherwise feel like a chaotic and hopeless situation.
A wise person can handle your honesty because they have already been honest with themselves and God. They have been given an inside look at the disturbing parts of their soul that are unattractive and flawed, so they can be comfortable with your disordered and confused heart. They aren’t looking to expose your weaknesses to shame you or make themselves feel better.
A wise person speaks truth with love, and artfully applies it as the situation warrants. For the hard-hearted or foolish person, a sharp rebuke may be in order, but for one who is groping towards repentance there is kindness, patience and gentle grace. A wise person can be firm but tender to someone who is downcast or caught in the mire of sin.
A wise person is slow to anger, and demonstrates self-control. This doesn’t mean that they may not feel and experience real anger or intense emotions. But they have learned that emotions should not be used to manipulate or control others for their own personal agenda. They have worked through and processed their powerful emotions of anger, sadness, grief or fear in ways that are not self-destructive or harmful to others.
A wise person is humbled by their mistakes, receives feedback graciously, doesn’t seek their own glory, and sees the trials of life as God’s wise and loving discipline to bring them to greater places of humility and compassion.
In a world where knowledge is cheaply acquired and quickly squandered, if you can find a person of wisdom, you have found a treasure that has no equal. Better yet, if you can become a person of wisdom, you will have gained an even greater treasure that nothing on this earth can replace.
Wisdom seekers should read the book of Proverbs, study the person and ministry of Jesus Christ who was Wisdom incarnate, and be encouraged by James 1:5 “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him….”