On The Getting Of Wisdom

old booksPost written by Peter G. James Sinclair.

From a very young age I read the ‘best book to read’, and with the passing of years I have found that many of the great ‘wisdom’ volumes that have been written, long after the Bible, are built upon its very foundations and principles.

For there was a point in my life that I started to purposefully read more and more wisdom literature. I identified this subject as a necessity for my own personal development and pursued it passionately – so much so that I even began to write it myself.

Whenever visiting a library I would avoid tens of thousands of books in order to find a jewel. I was a man on a mission, and once I found my jewel I studied it ferociously. I ate it. I drank it, as if it was liquid gold. There was something about these writings that fed my soul. I would read everything that a writer had written, and once I discovered the books that they read, I added those to my reading list.

This led me on a reading journey, where I still to this day revisit those very same authors time and time again, and treat with disdain everything else that appears in print.

Avoid Foolish Books

Thomas Carlyle once wrote, ‘A very small lot of books will serve to nourish a man’s mind, if he handle them well; and I have known innumerable people whose minds had gone all to ruin by reading carelessly too many books…The wisest men I have known in this world were by no means great readers – good readers, I should rather say, of a few books that were wise, having an abhorrence of all books they found to be foolish. A man gathers wisdom only from his own sincere exertions and reflections, and in this it is really not very much that other men can do for him.’

From time to time a modern writer appears whom I can identify with for a moment, but back I go to the ancients for a further top up.

As a result of that reading habit, I continue to pursue common themes – as if I have internal radar operating within my brain that continues to feed the original reading purpose that has operated in my life for decades.

If you were to categorize these books you would call them ‘wisdom literature’.

And as the Bible (the greatest piece of Wisdom Literature ever written) clearly states in the book of Proverbs 4: 7 ‘Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’

It is a wise thing to avoid ‘foolish books’.

So when you choose to read – read wisely. And through your reading and application you will get wisdom.

photo source: 123rf.com

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