Part 2 of 4-Ways to Make a Difference in Noisy World
Dr. Randy Carlson
We see a lot of foolish people today. A lot of shouting is going on in our very loud world. God has called us to use godly wisdom in quietness and in confidence that is goal-directed. With his wisdom, you can do the next right one thing to honor Him. (If you haven’t read, Quiet Wisdom, Part 1 of 4-Ways to Make a Difference in Noisy World, click here to read it first.)
- Volume matters.
Volume can attract the wrong crowd. When your volume goes up, your effectiveness as a parent goes down, and as your volume goes down, your effectiveness tends to go up long-term. If you’re a parent, you start out at a certain level with your children, and then you have to raise your voice.
Have you ever noticed if you get very quiet sometimes you draw your children to you? There is power in the volume we use, and right now, we tend to be running the world on full volume.
For long-term effectiveness, those who ultimately will be the leaders to build more justice in our culture have courage, but they don’t have to yell and scream.
Abraham Lincoln served as President during one of the most critical times in American history, the great Civil War, where over 600,000 men were killed. He could have yelled and screamed about what was going on in the south, but he was a man of great wisdom. While speaking to the Republican Party he said, “Let us do nothing through passion and ill-temper, even though the southern people will not so much as even listen to us. Let us calmly consider their demands, and yield to them if in our deliberative view of duty, we possibly can.” His attitude was one of quietness, of reconciliation and of building relationships.
As we reach out to people in this noisy time, remember, our volume matters. We can get in someone’s face with loud volume and maybe control the situation for a small moment. But ultimately, the quiet words of the wise should be headed rather than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
- The right goals matter.
The very first principle we teach at Intentional Living is to lock into a life transformational goal. And Solomon is saying this man had a goal to save the city. This one man, in his quietness, rescued the city.
When we think about Intentional Living, and what’s going on in the world today, there’s really three kinds of ways we can approach life: a good-intentioned life, without action; an unintentional life, which leads to weariness, fatigue and frustration; and an Intentional Life, focused on a goal.
- Courage matters.
This guy in Ecclesiastes 9 stood alone, even though his wisdom was despised. Whatever he did had a profound impact and saved the city.
In our noisy world today, those of us who are followers of Christ are often perceived as a weird and a hateful group, unfortunately. We should never give any reason for people to feel that way about us, but many do. I suspect in the years ahead and the generations to come, we’ll find ourselves standing alone in a group. Maybe even today you’ve had to standalone in the workplace or in your neighborhood.
In that same speech Abraham Lincoln gave to the Republican Convention in 1860, he said, “Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty, as we understand it.”
- Wisdom matters.
Ecclesiastes 9 is all about wisdom. This man’s wisdom saved the city. Wisdom is having the right kind of content. Abraham Lincoln also said, “Making sure that before we take a position with our feet, that we know where we stand.”
As Christ followers, we’ve got to be so careful before we take a position on something, because once we take a position, we tend to defend it, even if we find out later it’s wrong. We must understand what the Bible teaches, so we can use godly wisdom to take a stand for God intentionally in our community in everything that we do.
Take some time this week to read Ecclesiastes 9 and think about Solomon’s words, especially in verse 17: “The quiet words of the wise are more to be heated than the shouts of a ruler of fools.”
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