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Wisdom from Unexpected Sources

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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While I am grateful for the “Bartlett’s Quotations” strata of men and women who speak through outstanding books or speeches, it is among the many less notable individuals that I hear most about God and life. Consider that . . .

• In the business world, case studies abound with stories of management that refuses to listen to employees’ suggestions . . . and with corporations transformed by heeding the wisdom from the ranks of their factory workers or sales staff.

• Paul wrote to the Church of Corinth, concerned about the vast majority of its members enamored of human wisdom and looking down upon the average person. Reminding them of their call to serve God, Paul pointed to the fact that “not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise . . . so that no one might boast in the presence of God” (1 Cor. 1:26-29).

• Following His ministry blueprint, Jesus was concentrating on the people of Israel when a Gentile woman of Syrophoenician origin (Mark 7:26) asked Him to heal her daughter. Jesus uncharacteristically rebuffed the woman’s request in favor of sticking to His plan. Then, to His credit, He listened to the wisdom of her plea and altered the direction of His ministry—expanding it to heal and teach all who were open to Him.

• When my faith lapses onto automatic pilot, nothing revives me like a testimony of a first-name-only member of Alcoholic Anonymous, reminding me of God’s power to transform lives, mine included.

• I join a mission to Honduras with good intentions to help the poor. Lo and behold, the poor remind me that life is not about the consumption of goods. And I see joy in their faces often due to deep and abiding faith in Christ.

Throughout much of its history, the church has wrongly believed that great insights about God come only from the clergy. Renewal in the church, however, traces to a church that listens to and acknowledges the ministry of the laity, from St. Francis of Assisi to C. S. Lewis.

God imparts His wisdom from unexpected sources, and He does it much more than we are aware. More often than not, He reveals Himself in the ordinary—in the workplace and at home. Our call is to stay alert. With increasing humility, we can simply look around to learn more about what God has to teach us.
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