Good Understanding (Proverbs 13:15)

1.0 The Statement

Proverbs 13:15a “Good understanding giveth favour (grace).”  – The word “understanding” means “Good sense, good success, insight, and discretion.” It applies to the Person who acts prudently, and always behaves in a manner pleasing God, and give due consideration to others:

1.1 Benefits Self

The Person with good understanding has a well-informed mind, is impartial, and seeks to keep a balance view of life always. Charles Bridge calls this: “The glow of heavenly light and love in the disciplining of Christian habits.”

Good Understanding is the “Image of God stamped upon His Servants.” This Good Understanding gives favour (grace) in the sight of man and God – Proverbs 3:4 “So shalt thou find favour in the sight of God and man.”

Good Understanding is God’s Grace that gives the Good Understanding to the Person, and Grace is multiplied to him, through knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord – 2Peter 1:2 “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus, our Lord.” God shows His favour to the Person of Good Understanding, by making others to favour him.

Good Understanding leads to the practical application of this Good Understanding to every decision of life. It reflects the healthy fear of the LORD – Psalm 111:10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding has all those who do His commandments, His Praise endures forever.”  The Person without this knowledge of Good Understanding is deprived and dark indeed – “Unaided wisdom, with its strongest wings, can only flutter in the vale of vanity. No earth-born eye can catch a glimpse of God” (Law).  It is even worse for those with false knowledge or only half-truths. Solomon is saying that the mind cannot be sound that has no interest in Heaven, and no time for the things of the Spirit. This is needed reminder of our pleasure-crazed age.

1.2 Excellent People Skill

The Person of “Good Understanding” has a high degree of People-skill. This “People-skill” is highly regarded in Society and Workplace. There is a high need for communication and People-skill:

The Bureau of Vocational Guidance at Harvard found that at least two-thirds of the People who lose their jobs do not do so because they cannot do the work, but because of their inability to deal effectively with People.

The Centre for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North Carolina, shows that most fired Executives are Poor Communicators.

The National Alliance of Business warns that “an uneducated work force is an unmotivated and unproductive one.”

Freelance Writer Joanne Selement, with Kate Ludman, asked top Executives from 25 Successful high-growth Silicon Valley Companies to account for the most abrupt leaps they made in their career:

  • One–third said moves to challenging new jobs supercharged their careers.
  • One–third cited formal training programs that improved their leadership behaviour.
  • One–third described the importance of the Mentor/Coach who gave them regular feedback and took an active role in their development.

When the Carnegie Institute of Technology analysed the records of 10,000 People, it concluded that 15% of Success comes from Technical Skill on the job and 85% from the ability to deal with People successfully.

A Study has shown that it is safe to assume that problems encountered at work are mostly communicative, not substantive. A study has shown that the most necessary skill needed, besides Computer Competence, may be listening and People-relating Skills.

A study of the White House Office of Consumer Affairs shows that 96% of unhappy Customers never complained to the Stores where they received Poor Service/Goods, but 91% won’t buy again from the same place and, on average, they will share their bad experience with nine other People.

Will Schutz San Francisco Psychologist and Business Consultant, says that if People in Companies told the truth 89% to 90% of their problems would disappear. When we act with honour, we discover that People are “relentlessly reasonable, cooperative, and capable of coming to sensible and productive agreements when they are dealt with directly.”

The Work Force of the 21st Century faces three obstacles to success in adopting and supporting ethics that align with integrity:

  • Substituting manipulation for real change.
  • Lacking discipline and dedication to your efforts.
  • Failing to deal with potential resentment.

In the management, Peter Drucker warns that controlling and manipulating or strategising without direct communication is a “Self-destructive abuse of knowledge and power.” Ultimately, we hurt ourselves as well as our Colleagues and Employees when we say the right words and use the right techniques without matching them to honest feelings and intentions.

Research by Management Consultant Harry Levinson, previously the Business Professor at Harvard University, shows successful CEOs can accurately assess their effectiveness as Leaders, but many Managers who fail to make it to the CEO level lack this ability; still, they are afraid to ask for advice. yet fear that the Confidante will interpret their request for help as an admission that they can’t fill the job, or worst yet, will pass their concerns on to top Management. The fear of not doing it right supersedes asking for help.

1.3 Contrast

Proverbs 13:15b (KJV) “But the way of the transgressors is hard.” Proverbs 13:15b (NIV) “But the way of the unfaithful is hard.” – The word “transgressors” in Hebrews literally means “take the shirt of the back of their fellows” – Exodus 22:26-27 “If thou at all take thy neighbour’s raiment to pledge, thou shalt deliver it unto him by the time that the sun goeth down. For that is his covering only; it is his raiment for his skin; wherein shall he sleep? And it shall come to pass, when he cried unto Me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.” Hence, they are treacherous Deceivers. The way of the Unfaithful (Transgressors), in contrast, to “the Man of Understanding,” is rough and barren. The “Transgressor {Deceiver} leads others only to the sadness and barrenness of life that is his daily lot. The way of the Unfaithful (Transgressors) is hard, rough and rugged leading to isolation, not to water of comfort.

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