Remember the last time you said something that immediately embarrassed you. Seconds after the words slipped past your lips you were kicking yourself mentally for saying something so ridiculous, so insensitive, so juvenile, so unnecessary.
Or how about the last time you made a decision that soon proved to be a bad one. Maybe impulsiveness or impatience hijacked your better sense, or emotional frustration triggered a reaction in you that you really regretted. Whatever the case, you were left with unpleasant consequences.
We have all had moments like these –– times when we said or did dumb, foolish things –– times when we demonstrated a deficit of something called wisdom, prudence, discretion and discernment.
What should we do at times like these? Better yet, how can we avoid them altogether, or at least lower our “foolishness” quotient?
Recovering from such slip-ups is really not complicated. The first step is to admit to ourselves that we could’ve and should’ve handled the situation better. Breaking through the tendency to blame our dumbness on someone or something else is the beginning point for growing wiser. Many times this personal ownership for our faults and failures calls for an acknowledgment and apology to others. When we have done something foolish, the best response is humility.
Growing wiser happens in several major ways. We grow wiser by:
- Studying the principles of God’s Word –– the Bible –– and observing the practices of wise people.
The Bible is a treasure trove of wisdom that few people thoroughly explore. Dig into Scripture. You’ll be amazed at what you learn. Study the lives of godly, productive people. Their biographies will become great guides for better living.
- Continually asking God for wisdom.
God is the God of wisdom. He gives wisdom to people who ask for it, and take time to listen to His voice of instruction and guidance.
- Getting control of our emotions.
Most of the foolish things we do are the result of some emotion that got out of hand. Anger, resentment, impatience, hurt, grief, loneliness, and the like often lead us to do and say things that we regret. Unbridled negative emotions, even when we are not conscious of them, distort thinking and perception. They cause all kinds of problems for us.
- Learning lessons from the mistakes of others.
While we wish no bad on others, it is always better to learn from someone else’s mistake than it is from our own. Why waste a lesson you can learn from something foolish someone else did. Pay attention and grow wise!
- Learning lessons from your own mistakes.
We should pay attention to lessons God wants to teach us from our own life experiences. When you make a mistake, don’t fail to take something good with you from it. When you fail, fail forward by learning lessons for the future.
A better life is the result of better decisions. Let’s wise up!