“You are only as good as those you surround yourself with.” I do not remember where I first heard this but I do know I was in business. I heard something similar to this from a mentor at a staff meeting. He would continue when he is praised he would respond it is the team that carries me. He also would advise that we surround ourselves with wisdom, and to make sure it is of different personality types. If we surround ourselves with wisdom, sooner or later it will start to fade into us… hopefully! Today’s Proverb is from the very first chapter and eighth verse:
Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.
Now, before we all look to disqualify ourselves because this is wisdom from Mom and Dad (let’s face it, we do not admit to their wisdom until we are advanced in years ourselves), we need to define the author’s intent. Often those who were teachers would address their students as son. The author speaks to “his scholars with paternal authority and affection” (Benson Commentary). Fathers (and mothers) were not limited to biological roles here. They were often those wise ones we look to for counsel. So regardless if we have a relationship with our parents or if we still think there is no wisdom there (sorry Dad, totally not you!), we need to have people with wisdom in our lives. It is important to surround ourselves with wise people of different flavors!
It is important to surround ourselves with wise people of different flavors!
Once we have settled the mom and dad part, we are left with instruction. We must be open to it! Instruction is hard to take or listen to. When we do, we admit there may just be something we do not know and no one wants to admit a shortcoming of anything! But do we really need to go through the pain of burning our hand on a stove or can we not just listen to the wisdom of a voice saying “do not touch, it’s hot!”
Who have you surrounded yourself with that has some wisdom? Is it the type of wisdom that our mutual Rabbi and shepherd would approve of?
What do you say in all this? Is wisdom important to you? Is the counsel of the wise crucial in your life?