How Can We Learn Wise Practices From Others?

How Can We Learn Wise Practices From Others?

What a wonderful week it was at TCBC! Neighbors and Nations led us into Good Friday and Easter. Jesus has risen! Our hope is alive. Now, don’t grow weary. We’re a redeemed community of Jesus followers on mission together. Go and make disciples!

Now we begin a new Elder letter series: Wise Practices. The aim is to share practical knowledge and wisdom to help us grow as doers of the word. Each letter will share applied methods and will answer a how– How do you forgive others when you’ve been wronged? How do you study the Bible? How do you fight anxiety? How do you make disciples at work? How do you put to death foul speech? How do you encourage and admonish? How do you talk to your kids about death?

Wise Practices help nurture accountability, aims, routines, and skills. They are not comprehensive or perfect. They are not rules or 10 steps to a better life. And they certainly don’t earn any measure of righteousness. Instead, they are personal testimonies of shared knowledge and wisdom that have been gained through our pursuit of faithfulness according to the authority of Scripture. By the grace of God, these wise practices have helped us. We pray that they will edify you as well.

How can we learn wise practices from others?

Solomon calls his reader to “be attentive, that you may gain insight” (Proverbs 4:1). Therefore, how can we seek to learn wise practices from others?

When I was a teenager, I worked a summer job at a glass factory. My job was to stack the freshly made sheets of glass. Today, machines pick up each sheet of glass and perfectly place it on nearby racks; however, back then, line workers were employed to accomplish this task. I still remember my first day. It was hot. To make glass, sand and other elements are mixed and melted in furnaces that exceed 3000℉. The liquid glass cools and hardens through cooling ovens before rolling down the line to be caught and stacked by people like me.

The job seemed simple enough: catch the glass, stack the glass, repeat. Within minutes of starting, I’m breaking glass, disrupting the line, and feeling overwhelmed. After several runs I began to manage to keep up, but it was exhausting. The process required 100% of my focus. I was pouring sweat. My muscles ached. I thought, “This is impossible.”

After what felt like hours, an old guy came to relieve me. He had worked at the plant his entire life and was nearing retirement. I looked like a stressed cat clawing out of a swimming pool; he on the other hand was relaxed and making jokes with a nearby coworker. I stood there and watched this old man stack glass. What I made look exhausting and difficult, he accomplished with ease. What took all of my attention was an afterthought for him. Soon, I noticed that his hand placement and stacking motion were different from mine. I desperately approached him and asked for help. He shared with me practical knowledge and wisdom gained through his experience.

Soon my break was finished. I jumped back on the line and tried to apply what was taught. If life was a movie, everything would immediately improve. Life is not a movie. The new hand placement and motion felt odd, unnatural. I was back to breaking glass and being a disruption. Still, the visual of that old man easily doing what I could not fueled me to stay the course. As the hours went by I noticed progress. Over time, the applied knowledge transformed the job from impossible to doable to instinctive.

Notice a few wise practices that served me well.

  • Be Humble. I owned my weaknesses. I recognized what I was doing wasn’t producing the fruit I wanted.
  • Seek Insight. I asked for help, but not from other inexperienced, unproven people. I didn’t simply ask my friend. I sought out those who were producing the fruit I desired to produce.
  • Keep Trying. I didn’t quit. When the practice initially felt too awkward and I struggled, I trusted and continued trying despite my initial setbacks.
  • Be Accountable. I chose transparency. I kept asking for help. I invited others into my pursuit.

Wisdom is blessing. Get it!

Proverbs 4:5–9 [5] Get wisdom; get insight; do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth. [6] Do not forsake her, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. [7] The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. [8] Prize her highly, and she will exalt you; she will honor you if you embrace her. [9] She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.

Daniel Broyles

Elder / Pastor of Teaching & Vision

Daniel Broyles has served as the Leadership Pastor and Elder at Tri-Cities Baptist Church since 2012. He is married to his wife Amy and they have a daughter named Lena.