The cascading effects of wise counsel

 

Do you ever feel like you could use better judgment? Or maybe, you remember a time (I said maybe - I certainly can’t (I say as my nose grows…)) when you exercised poor judgment…

 

If, by chance, you do remember such a time, were you the one who paid the price for poor judgment or was it someone else.

 

Someone always pays…

 

Example: If I drive too fast on a country road around a corner and end up in the ditch, I pay…BUT, if I’m driving too fast and round that corner and there’s a jogger coming toward me, guess who really pays? Someone always pays…

 

So, I’ve been thinking about these errors in judgment and why they happen? I’m not talking about the kind of thing where I willfully set out to do harm. For me, stealing from a friend isn’t the kind of error in judgment I’m talking about. Stealing from a friend falls into the category of more egregious acts, not simply an error in judgment.

 

Why do any of us end up causing someone to pay through poor judgment? Here’s what I’ve come up with – feel free to disagree. I believe:

 

Most errors in judgment happen

because we lack or fail to lean on WISDOM.

 

And what is wisdom? Wisdom is not the same as knowledge. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts or data. Using that knowledge to act in healthy ways – treating people as I want to be treated, acting in the best interest of all concerned, doing the right thing – all of these kinds of actions reflect wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge applied in healthy ways, almost always in the context of relationship; relationship with myself, my God, and my “neighbor” (others).

 

Google WISDOM and you find:

  • the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment; the quality of being wise.
  • the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

 

Even for Google,

wisdom and good judgment

are inextricably linked.

 

Now, let’s move to up my ladder to the next rung with this question:

 

Is a lack of wisdom a sign of something else?

 

I, for one, believe the answer is YES. In my experience, when I lack the wisdom to regularly exercise good, sound judgment, it’s often a sign that

 

I’m not seeking counsel.

 

What do I mean by this? I can be a do-it-myself’er when it comes to decision making. Pride says, “I can handle this,” or even, “Nobody’s going to tell me what to do?” This, for me, is a slippery slope. I can, in Brene Brown’s phraseology, step to the balcony and look down on myself from the outside, and ask,

 

Is this the wise thing to do?

 

BUT, a truly wise person doesn’t JUST

rely on the balcony…

A truly wise person seeks the wise counsel of wise counselors.

 

Those counselors might be family, friends, colleagues, clergy or even great books by great authors.

 

So, now let’s turn this around…

 

Seeking wise counsel leads to

wise decision-making,

which in turn leads to good judgment

which leads to less “paying”

by me and my “neighbor.”

 

One more thing: friends who regularly seek counsel regularly implement that wise counsel.

 

They act on that counsel

and don’t just nod their heads in agreement.

 

There is an old Proverb (13:10) that says,

 

Where there is strife, there is pride,

but wisdom is found in those

who take advice.

 

I want to close with this question: I’ve often said that trust is “the currency” in relationships and in business. Without trust, we’re lost.

 

If you are on a team where

team members consistently seek wise counsel to gain wisdom to exercise sound judgment, will trust grow?

 

 

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