Wisdom is Lacking In Public Debates: Applying Wisdom Needs Recognition of Facts and Experiences

Wisdom is lacking today. The Ninth Edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines wisdom as “experience and knowledge together with the power of applying them critically or practically.” Yet people neglect facts, experiences, and common sense in public debates. Many vital issues need wisdom to develop realistic solutions. Chaos in Donald Trump’s White House is causing havoc in Stock Markets. Students are murdering students in schools. Gangs are killing innocent people in urban areas in parts of the USA. And we have an opioid epidemic in North America. 

Wisdom is Applying Sound Judgement

Applying Wisdom Includes Recognition of Facts and Experiences
Applying Wisdom Includes Recognition of Facts and Experiences

These situations have one common denominator—people’s behavior. Let us be wise and non-political when we evaluate them to develop meaningful solutions. We must stop focusing on wrong elements, becoming intolerant, politically motivated, and angry when others disagree with our views. This approach leads to expediency, and we choose wrong but emotionally acceptable solutions that don’t work.

Stock markets are gyrating because markets hate uncertainty, and with Donald Trump, that’s what we have in abundance—uncertainty. Trump’s erratic behavior is the issue that needs attention. To be sure, we can’t control him directly. How do we get him to change his behavior? That’s the central point! Meanwhile, markets will continue to fluctuate while he behaves irrationally and rejects sober advice.

Then again, folks demand gun control, but it is people who use guns; therefore, it is people’s behavior that needs examining. Why do so many people harm others with guns? That’s what we need to understand! Admittedly, we need common sense measures to deal with access to firearms, but we should not forget that guns per se aren’t the issue, it is people’s behavior that must be our priority.

Applying Wisdom Needs Recognition of Facts and Experiences

Meanwhile, folks claim they don’t have time to deal properly with many essential matters. So, they strive for better time management although we have a fixed 24-hour day in which to function. Why don’t we concentrate on planning our activities better in each 24-hour day? Why not develop and manage our priorities more effectively?

Applying wisdom, common sense, facts, experiences to the above-mentioned situations will lead us to deal with real behavior issues. Canada’s high and climbing household debt is an interesting study. Canada’s household debt as a percentage of disposable income is the largest in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. However, Canadians continue spending despite several world organizations warning us that we are heading for a significant challenge. Meanwhile, folks complain about unaffordable housing because of the size of deposit requirements, stress tests before purchase, among other things. They want the government to make housing more affordable—meaning to help them continue spending. 

People try to control household debt through refinancing and other financial tools instead of implementing behavior changes that drive spending and create liabilities. They forget they spent and the day of reckoning is almost here. People did it; they are responsible. And they must bear the consequences. Instead of playing the victim card, folks need to accept responsibility for their actions, identify and implement behavior changes.

Material Wealth is Fleeting Don’t Let it Lead Your Life

Chasing material wealth is an unwise choice King Solomon described as chasing after the wind in Ecclesiastes 2:24-26. It produces ruin. I am not against earning money, generating profit, or saving. Instead, I am suggesting we must not let material wealth be a priority, define us, or drive our activities.

Speaking through the prophet Jeremiah, God tells us that knowing God needs to be our priority:

Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight (Jeremiah 9:23-24)

Godly Wisdom is Crucial to Understand our Issues

Beware we let events lead us and cause us to panic. We should focus on what we control and apply godly wisdom as we decide. For our financial affairs, godly wisdom starts with accepting Jesus’ ownership of all funds. It continues with accepting our roles as His stewards. We can’t manage money; we control our behavior. Regrettably, we focus solely on learning financial skills and techniques to refinance debt, raise investment returns, or other financial tasks— the wrong areas to stress because they do not address the reasons we spend.

Check Your Attitude Regularly

Let’s check our attitudes, behavior, and choices and be sensitive to God’s presence in our lives each day. Let us focus on controllable elements in each situation we encounter and stop deflecting from our behavior and choices. Jesus has promised to provide for our needs when we seek first His kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). Seek Him daily!

© 2018 Michel A. Bell

SEE ALSO

Biblical stewardship advice about wealth

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Michel A. Bell

Michel A. Bell is a former senior business executive, author of six books (Business Simplified released in 2018), speaker, and adjunct professor of business administration at Briercrest College and Seminary (Briercrest). Michel graduated from Massachuetts Institute of Technology with a masters of science in management. As well, Briercrest awarded him an honorary doctor of business administration. He is founder and president of Managing God's Money, a private mission devoted to teaching biblical stewardship of time, talent, money and other resources. Visit Managing God's Money.

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