(1) My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding:
(2) That thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge. (Proverbs 5:2)
One day, an eighteen-wheeler was driving through a city and started to make its way through a tunnel. At the halfway point, it got stuck with the top of its trailer wedged firmly against the roof of the tunnel. Try as he might, the driver could not free his truck. It wouldn’t budge either forward or backward. It was not long before this stuck truck caused stuck traffic. Engineers were called in from all over to solve the problem and get traffic flowing again. A number of solutions were proposed, from using some kind of elaborate hydraulics to raise the roof of the tunnel to cutting off the roof of the trailer.
In the midst of all the news coverage and the chatter of experts, a young boy asked: “Why don’t you just take some of the air out of the tires?”
It was a simple and brilliant solution. It took the air out of a lot of egos, but it worked.
In exhorting his son, Solomon told him two things: “attend unto my wisdom and bow thine ear to my understanding.” Both of those actions require humility, the understanding that I don’t know everything and that many times I don’t even understand the problem I am looking at. My perspective is often clouded by my own presuppositions. I have to be ready and willing to look at things through God’s lens and to do that, I must humble myself.
A supervisor I once knew had a favorite saying: “Nobody knows everything, but everybody knows something.” What he meant was that no one can claim to know everything about everything. A good leader understands this and is willing to hear the insights of others. If you approach a problem from only one angle, you miss out on a lot of insightful perspectives. Life is full of problems. If you refuse to humble yourself and view it from the ultimate perspective, the perspective of God’s Word, there are going to be a lot of things in life that you’ll end up learning the hard way.
To really benefit from God’s truth, we have to take the air out of our egos and humble ourselves because humility must come before real knowledge.