Our theme this month is April Wisdom – no foolin’.
I shared this lighthearted, yet somewhat sage, article when our oldest son turned 21. Written in 1920, 10 Things I Would Do If I Were Twenty-One offers secular “wisdom” that confirms biblical wisdom, and most of it is still relevant today. Good principles aren’t limited to one generation. Many of his musings fall into one of three categories: getting along with yourself, getting along with others, and planning for the future.
The author’s top ten:
- I Would “Do the Next Thing.”
- I Would Adjust Myself.
- I Would Take Care of My Body.
- I Would Train My Mind.
- I Would Be Happy.
- I Would Get Married.
- I Would Save Money.
- I Would Study the Art of Pleasing.
- I Would Determine, Even If I Could Never Be Anything Else in the World, That I Would Be a Thoroughbred.
- I Would Make Some Permanent, Amicable Arrangement With My Conscience.
Have you thought about what your top ten might be?
I know one that stands out to me is the “Art of Pleasing.” His recommendation is not about being a people-pleaser, but about being a person that can form relationships without shooting himself in the foot by being rude, dismissive, overbearing, or sloppy. Biblically, we could call that loving our neighbor.
And he adds – he wouldn’t argue. I might be well-intentioned, but in my zeal, I can commence to arguing – for a good cause. But even when conveying truth, it isn’t usually accomplished through arguing. I’ve heard it said, “A man convinced against his will is still a man unconvinced.” Nobody wins an argument.
Haven’t we seen this proved out today all over social media? Is anyone really convinced that their minds and hearts should change through these methods? How much more productive could it be to sit down and have thoughtful conversations one-on-one? James calls it quick to listen, slow to speak. And when we do speak, we speak the truth in love, not anger.
“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20
We have the ultimate advantage over the author. He desires to do right, and while he acknowledges God, he doesn’t seem to know God. Though he wants to do right, he doesn’t personally know the Creator of absolute truth. When we know the One who made us, the Author and Perfector of our faith, we have access to all wisdom. We don’t need to wonder.
We can ask for wisdom, and we can seek out godly men who can sharpen us in wisdom.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
We asked a 1 Quick Question to find out one piece of advice you would give your twenty-something self. While the answers are broad and varied, one thing is for sure, we all know some things now that we wish we had known then.
How about you? What would you tell your 21-year-old self?
Do you know someone younger than you that you could share some of those truths with?
We have many resources to help you along the way as you seek wisdom. Be sure to subscribe to The Noble Man Podcast to hear this week’s Episode 54 with Randy Rowekamp, Statewide Director for Crown Financial Ministries. The first 10 guys to like and comment on this episode on Facebook get a free Money Map from Crown sent to them.