“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; for her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold” (Proverbs 3:13,14).
IF WE’RE SERIOUS ABOUT IMPROVING OUR QUALITY OF LIFE, WE NEED TO WORK HARDER AT IMPROVING OUR THINKING. As we reach forward to better things, both in this life and the one to come, we need to spend less time on our circumstances and more time on our wisdom. Better thinking is what our progress usually depends on. It’s a valuable key that opens a great many doors.
Removing falsehoods. Often, the thing that holds us back in life is some wrong idea that is lodged in our minds. Wise people work every day to remove as many falsehoods as they can from their thinking. Like a New England farmer patiently removing the rocks from his fields, we need to be getting rid of the untruths that hinder our productiveness and our progress toward God.
Widening our perspective. Sometimes it’s not an untruth that hinders us but simply a failure to see enough of the truth. Many of the most frustrating things in life are frustrating because we’re so bogged down in them we can’t see what else is true. We should get in the habit of “going to the balcony” and looking down on our difficulties from a vantage point that offers a more complete view.
To God, our ill-informed efforts at self-improvement must appear quite silly. We continue to hammer away at problems with thoughts and attitudes that have proven over and over again to be the wrong tools for the job. Wouldn’t it be smart to get better tools? “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them” (Albert Einstein). Without better thinking, we’ll stay stuck in our ruts.
Ultimately, of course, the path to better thinking always takes us into the Scriptures. Nothing can remove falsehoods and widen our perspective more helpfully than God’s own mind, and we are at our problem-solving best when we’re honestly searching the Scriptures. In the long run, neither our thinking nor our doing will get better if the Psalmist’s prayer is not our own: “Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your law” (Psalm 119:18).
“Because there is no limit to how much you can improve the quality of your thinking, there is no real limit to how much you can improve your life” (Brian Tracy).