“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver, and yields better returns than gold” – Proverbs 3: 13 – 14 (TNIV)
Thanks for visiting my blog and this post, which is the beginning of the ninth book in the Cultivating Love series, called Cultivating Love: Wisdom for Life.
I actually thought I was finished with the book series with the completion of Cultivating Love: Choosing Change, and for the past year I’ve been in quiet reflection and prayer thinking about what’s next and what I wanted to do with the eight books that comprise the series. Wisdom for Life is the answer to my reflection and my prayers.
In a moment I’ll share a few of my goals in writing this book (and in another post I’ll share how to use the book and get the most out of it), however, for the time being, let me share a few points regarding why I’m giving my attention to writing this book, Wisdom for Life.
First, I love the meaning of the word “Wisdom.” The Greek word for this English word is “Sophia,” and Dr. Spirios Zodhiates in The Hebrew – Greek Key Study Bible defines Sophia (Wisdom) as “Skills in the affair of life, evidenced by the possession of a certain adeptness or practical ability to apply skillfully what one knows in respect to all things human and divine.” My shortened definition of his definition of Wisdom is “to become skilled in living,” and it’s my hope that the material in this book will provide you with insightful, practical and useful information to apply in your daily affairs so that when demonstrated, you’ll become skilled at living.
To assist you in accomplishing this goal, Wisdom for Life contains 365 “bite size and easily digestible” short entries on specific subjects divided into the 7 Core Areas of Life (Spiritual, Cognitive, Emotional, Physical/Biological, Sexual, Social/Relational and Environmental).
In each of the 7 Core Areas, I’ll present 52 one-page “reflections” for you to glean valuable insight about the subject being discussed along with suggested and practical behaviors for you to apply over the next couple of days, weeks, months and years of your life. You’ll also find that most of the subjects covered in Wisdom for Life have been written about in previous books in the Cultivating Love book series (hence the cover art for the blog posts). However, my goal in presenting the information in “smaller portions” means you’ll have the opportunity to apply the knowledge immediately, which leads to faster results and competency by practicing behaviors in the range of human experiences being addressed.
Why am I presenting the information in the context of the 7 Core Areas? Allow me to share a scripture commonly known as “The Two Greatest Commandments,” upon which the 7 Core Areas are based:
“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he (Jesus) replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’, and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.” – Luke 10:25 – 28 (TNIV).
In looking at all of our “heart, soul, strength, mind and loving our neighbor as our self,” I see Jesus affirming that we are Spiritual, Cognitive, Emotional, Physical/Biological and Sexual beings (these relate to the 1st Greatest Commandment) and that we are Social/Relational and Environmental beings (that is, we have the capacity to be agents of change for the good of others; these relate to the 2nd Greatest Commandment).
By identifying these Core parts of who we are, He infers that our total being, all that we are, deserves love but also in-depth and critical attention, if we wish to cultivate any form of qualitative change in our life and in our relationships. So in working from the “template” of the 7 Core Areas of our existence, my aim is to provide focused, purposeful, practical, useful and balanced attention to these 365 “sectors in your life garden,” with the intention of helping you to become fruitful, wise and of course, skilled at living.
Finally, it’s not lost on me that Wisdom is the 8th and final “virtue” in Psychologist and neo-Freudian Erik Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial Growth. Why is this important? Glad you asked!
If you’ve read my previous books, you know that I’m a big believer in Erikson’s Eight Stages of Psychosocial growth. They have helped me (and others I’ve counseled with) to understand human behavior, and the eighth-stage (which is called “Ego Integrity versus Despair”) begins around age 60, which happens to be my age this year.
Throughout the years of my life, I’m thankful to have developed these skills for my own personal benefit and I’m extremely thankful to have been “called” to a helping profession where my goal has been to talk with, walk with and assist people to become wise(r) in their own day-to-day activities of life. Implicitly and explicitly I feel I’ve become skilled at living, and there is no greater passion that I have than to provide any form of knowledgeability to assist people to develop wisdom in their life. Whether in my office, through my blog, in my books or whatever the venue, my goal has been and it will always be for you to become wise, all the days of your life, as evidenced by you becoming skilled at living, no matter what circumstance you experience in life.
Wisdom declares: “I love those who live me, and those who seek me will find me” – Proverbs 8:17 (TNIV)
Thanks for reading this excerpt from Cultivating Love: Wisdom for Life. As time permits, please visit the other blogs written by Dr. Ken McGill: Daily Bread for Life and “3 – 2 – 5 – 4 – 24″ for additional information that could be helpful.
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