Have you ever sat down with someone wiser than you and just picked their brain? If you never have, can I encourage you to do so ASAP? Shoot a text to that older (or just wiser) woman you admire and set up a coffee date. That’s one of the best ways to learn wisdom.
But I’ll warn you, sometimes wisdom isn’t what you want to hear. As an overconfident twenty-something, I often find the words of my mentors and older sisters in the faith to be difficult to hear. I want to be told that I’m amazing, not that I have a pride problem, that I should make a different financial decision, or that the problem in a relationship is me.
But after long reflection—or after making a foolish decision that I regret—I often find those difficult words to be wiser than I realized.
That’s the thing about wisdom. It’s not just a bowl of ice cream to gulp down, though it is sweet to the taste (Ps. 119:103)! It’s meat that has to be chewed on and digested and made a part of you. It’s practical, but it takes work. It takes asking questions. It takes studying the Word of God, and sometimes, it takes reading insightful books by wise authors and considering what they say.
For me (and I hope for you!), one of those books is The Little Red Book of Wisdom by Mark DeMoss. (Isn’t that a great title? And yes, if the name sounds familiar, Mark is Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth’s brother!)
I wouldn’t want to spoil your hunt for wisdom by giving you everything worth considering in this pocket-sized volume, but here are five tidbits to whet your whistle:
- “Under-promise, over-deliver. . . . Understatement is self-restraint, and self-restraint is hardly a sign of weakness. On the contrary, widely used, few things carry more power.” (pp. 25, 29)
- “Successful people, no matter how busy, seem to make time to write letters.” (p. 46)
- “The advice to shut up and listen contradicts the human desire to be noticed or known, but not every good thing is easy.” (p. 134)
- “Integrity is not what we do when it serves us. It is who we are in the dark and how we treat people when it makes no difference to us.” (p. 111)
- “What lies behind us is gone and consequences are inevitable but God is in the business of redemption, and we can still give him the years we have.” (p. 147)
Either way, whether you call that older woman you thought of earlier, or buy a copy of the book, or read a chapter in Proverbs each day (another of Mark DeMoss’s wise recommendations), act on this truth:
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. (Prov. 4:7)