Daily D – Proverbs 3:7
Proverbs 3:7 Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. (NLT)
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Someone really smart said that.
Someone not so smart, predictably, takes issue with this wee bit of wisdom on her blog. Feel free to look it up if you want to feel superior, or inferior, depending upon your perspective.
Let’s take the express train to the main point: The smartest person in the room is the person who is determined that he or she can learn from every other person in the room. The key to learning is asking good questions.
Here’s a hardcore truth: People are endlessly fascinated with themselves. Just about everyone you meet thinks he or she is among the wisest of all persons. Just about everyone you meet thinks he or she is above average. Since you and I are above average, we know two things that are truer than true. First, average is so very average. Second, all those people who think they are above average cannot possibly be above average. That’s not how average works.
If you want to win friends and influence people for the right reasons and in the right ways, ask good questions. My old friend Josh Hunt likes to say, “Good questions get people talking.” Good questions also make others feel like the most important person in the room.
I was in the same room yesterday with a woman named Riddhi which autocorrect wants to rename Riddle. I wanted to meet her and ask her about her name. This would unlock several avenues of conversation. Names often tell parents’ hopes and dreams for their children.
The name Riddhi means, Good fortune, prosperity, success, wealth, superiority. This is a name that invites conversation, doesn’t it? It tells us something about her immigrant parents, about why they came to America. What kinds of questions would you like to ask about her parents? What would you like to ask her about her own perspective on the meaning of her name? It is certainly a name to live up to, isn’t it?
If she has children of her own, what would you want to know about them? Does she have the same kinds of hopes and dreams for them that her parents have for her? How is she helping them succeed? What are her core values and how do they shape her family, her work, her goals, her destiny?
Sadly, I didn’t get to meet Riddhi yesterday. However, three five-foot-tall physical therapists named Rachel (Purity), Nicolette (Victory for the People), and Selena (Bright) worked me over. How can someone so tiny cause such pain?
The sleep therapist the night before is named Laura (Victory). She didn’t know the meaning of her name. Her first comment was, “Maybe one of these days I will experience that.” Her story includes a divorce, a son addicted to drugs, and a daughter who can’t make up her mind about what she wants to be when she grows up even though she is grown up.
Laura lives a victorious life. She raised herself from a simple nurse to a therapist who helps people learn how to rest. What a gift! The drug-addicted son? He’s clean and intent on staying that way. He is moving into a profession and lifestyle that has reoriented his life.
The daughter who can’t make up her mind actually made a big decision recently that sets her apart for success because of the challenging path she followed to elite understanding in a crucial field of endeavor.
Laura also gave me good news about my results. Our every interaction was filled with laughter. Her story from the dark days of her divorce until now is filled with hope and friendship. The rocky events of her past have become stepping stones into a preferred future. Laura is a winner. Laura is Victorious.
Who will you meet today and what good questions will you ask? How will you help him or her know by how deeply you listen that he or she is truly fascinating and wise? How can God use you to cement victory and success for others by how well you connect with the smartest person in the room?
I will ask good questions and listen deeply for how God is at work in other people’s lives.
Our Father, please give me ears to hear what you are saying to me in every conversation. Empower me to hear how you are expressing your love to others in their hopes and dreams, their work and play, their struggles and successes. Help me to help them connect the dots to your heart and your purpose for them today and forever. Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”