Love the Process
November 13, 2007
Do you love the results of wisdom, but hate the process?
Wisdom is key to success in any endeavor. Without it, we falter at some point. For that reason, we all want it - and we want it right now. We want to be wise and successful. We want it immediately.
We all want good results, but it is the few who are willing to embrace the means by which good things come who actually receive the benefits.
Proverbs 12:1 says in the KJV, "Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish."
In the NIV, the word "instruction" is rendered, "discipline." The word for "brutish" is "stupid."
The meaning is the same. If you love the results, you will learn to love the process. It is "stupid" to expect to grow without discipline and instruction.
It takes a degree of humility to submit to mentors, teachers, and coaches. It takes a truckload of open-mindedness to ask questions when we think we know the answers. It takes great wisdom to listen with the admission that we don't know everything.
Those who are willing to make such an admission are those who acquire greater wisdom and more useful knowledge.
Learn to love the process even if it stretches you beyond your ordinary comfort zone. Don't just endure it; enjoy it. Make it an adventure.
There are some other proverbs in chapter 12 that help me understand the reluctance of people to learn while they profess the desire to know.
Verse 12 says, "The wicked desireth the net of evil men: but the root of the righteous yieldeth fruit."
"Net" means "plunder." Plunder is something you take from someone else after they have done the hard work and gained it through effort and application of truth. Plunderers gather up the fruits of war that others have earned.
We tend to plunder the surface fruits of other people's discipline, but real fruit comes when the search for truth goes deep in our lives.
That is why it is the "root of righteousness" that bears fruit.
Plunder will last until the first scorching heat or freezing rain, but that which is rooted in sound discipline and the natural processes of growth will last and continue to bear fruit.
So do your own work with the people that have come into your life to guide you. Study, read, listen, ask questions, observe the masters, allow them to observe you, and accept correction.
Verse 15 says, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise."
You can be right in your own eyes and still not prosper because your eyes have blind spots. Hating the process of discipline often manifests itself in an unwillingness to submit our ideas to the scrutiny of others and listen to their counsel.
The fool is not lacking in confidence, but it is false confidence based upon false assumptions that he is always right.
Verse 24 - "The hand of the diligent shall bear rule: but the slothful shall be under tribute."
Verse 27 - "The slothful man roasteth not that which he took in hunting: but the substance of a diligent man is precious."
The lazy man may actually gain something and not be willing to do the follow-through to apply what he has gained.
Maybe you have been to a workshop and have taken meticulous notes - even made to-do lists to implement the moment you got back home or to work. Then, you put the notebook in a drawer and forgot about it.
You have not roasted your game. It just rots.
Our problem is that we have been conditioned toward laziness and we reject the process of discipline and learning because it looks too much like work. Follow-through is even harder.
IT IS WORK!
It is hard work, but it is work that produces positive results and continues to do so. Wisdom perpetuates itself because it never stops loving the process and never stops desiring more and investing in growth.
What is the PROCESS?
P - Perpetual learning. You are a student of life for the rest of your life.You will never come to the place where you are not a student no matter how many people call you, "teacher."
R - Receptivity . You can't pour water into a container with the lid on. Take the lid off of your attitude and drink in what is being offered. Keep your knowledge to yourself from time to time so that you can gain the knowledge of others. Proverbs 12:23 says that a prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself all the while a fool is blurting out folly. There will be plenty of time to tell what you know and impress the socks off of people. Don't waste the time for learning by spouting what you already know.
O - Observation. Part of the process of learning is observing the world and people around you. Be a student of people and their behaviors. Imitate successful people. hang around so that you can observe. Sometimes it is just being there. Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) says, "He who walks with the wise grows wise, but a companion of fools suffers harm."
C - Counsel. Wise people who are getting wiser are always seeking advice and counsel. The are checking our their own impressions and not relying on what they already know. They seek counsel from the old and the young, from teachers and students, and from God. Has it ever occurred to you why lawyers don't represent themselves in court (or doctors don't operate on themselves?). There is a saying among those in the law profession that goes like this: A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for an attorney."
E - Eagerness. Loving discipline implies an eagerness for it. It suggests that the individual seeks out mentors and teachers, opportunities to learn, workshops, audio lectures, books, journals, Internet sites, and companions who can help him learn and grow. The eager learner embraces correction and accountability and wants to know when he is on the wrong track.
S - Simplicity. While the process may seem complex, it is in the sense that it organizes itself as it is lived out in life. Discipline applied from the outside is not complicated. We are given instructions and assignments and we do them. We sign up for an entry level course and are given a text book. We look at the book and think it is to simplistic for us. So we go out and gather material that is out of sequence rather than submitting to the simple discipline of the course. The result it confusion. Don't despise the simplicity that is presented to you in order to consider yourself deep or advanced. Every new discipline starts out at the beginning for us. Don't skip first base.
S- Stages. All learning takes place in stages and some of us like to skip them. Don't. Take your steps one at a time. Occasionally, you may be able to skip one, but more often that not, you will discover later on that you missed an important building block and you will have to go back to that stage to get it.
Love the process and the process will bring you the results you desire.