You’re Not that Smart: Asking the Right Questions

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Last week I started a brief series on seeking advice from other people. We talked about the trap of the Moses complex. We also discussed the importance of listening to experience advisors. Today I’d like to talk about the questions we should ask.

If I was God, I’d just tell people what to do and expect them to do it. In my world, it would be very easy to determine right from wrong, but we’d miss out on the joy of learning from the experience and wisdom of those around us. We’d miss out on the reward and the sense of accomplishment of the learning process. We wouldn’t experience the relational benefits from leaning on others. We wouldn’t reflect the nature of God, because we wouldn’t be creative. We’d be rule-followers. Following rules is easy, but that’s not the way God designed us.

Does wisdom come from God? Yes, but God uses other people to impart his wisdom. And, for reasons we may never understand, he gives us the choice of deciding who we will listen to and who we will ignore.

Because of that, it elevates the importance of discerning who is in our circle of influence. It forces me to ask these questions…

  • What does the Bible say?
  • What does my wife say?
  • What does my team say?
  • What do the experienced experts say?

Here’s an important filter when it comes to gaining wisdom from others:

  • I listen closely to people who know me or want me to take my next steps toward Christ. I place high value on their encouragement and their criticism.
  • I don’t listen closely to people who don’t know me or don’t necessarily want me to experience my full potential in Christ. I don’t place high value on their encouragement or their criticism.

If Solomon was so wise, maybe we ought to learn from him. Rather than determining, “What should I do?”, we should focus on, “Who should I ask?” In other words, we need people in our lives who are smarter than us.

Why is that important? Because you’re not that smart.

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About Author

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group. For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and Pastors.com.

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