Postive Psychology & Scripture Part VI – Perspective

PERSPECTIVE [Wisdom]

Being able to provide wise counsel to others; having ways of looking at the world that make sense to oneself and to other people

SCRIPTURE

Exodus 28:3
Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest.

Job 12:12
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?

1 Corinthians 12:8
To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit,

James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

I was not able to find the word Perspective in scripture. I was able to locate a generous amount of the use of the word wisdom. I picked several variations that highlight how wisdom is acquired. In Exodus, it seems that God has given wisdom to some and not others. Job shows us that wisdom can come from life experience. 1 Corinthians shows us a unique element here. God gives through His Spirit to one wisdom and to another knowledge. Here we see that each person has their own unique set of strengths. Some are born with certain strengths. The book of James tells us that if you desire wisdom and perspective that you should ask God for it and He will give it to you. Here you can have a certain amount of wisdom by asking God for it and by working on integrating it into you life.

DEFINITION

  • Is distinct from intelligence
  • Represents a superior level of knowledge, judgment, and capacity to give advice
  • Allows the individual to address important and difficult questions about the conduct and meaning of life
  • Is used for the good or well-being of oneself and that of others

Very humbly they would admit:

  • I have self-awareness.
  • I bring both feeling and thinking into decisions.
  • I realize larger patterns of meaning that goes on in life
  • I have a wide perspective
  • I need to contribute to others and society
  • I take into consideration the needs of others
  • I understand my limits of what I know and don’t know
  • I am able to see to the heart of important problems
  • I have an accurate view of my strengths and weaknesses.
  • I am turned to for advice.
  • I behave in a manner consistent with my own personal standards

CORRELATES AND CONSEQUENCES

  • associated with a variety of indices of successful aging,
  • including psychological and physical well-being,
  • satisfaction in multiple life domains,
  • psychosocial development,
  • psychological resources.
  • linked to the well being of older people than are objective life conditions such as physical health, socioeconomic status, financial situation, and features of the physical and social environments (ardelt, 1997).
  • Wisdom is associated with such personality traits as maturity, open mindedness, even temperedness, sociability, social intelligence, and the absence of neuroticism (e.g., staudinger et al., 1997).

DEVELOPMENT

  • Wisdom is usually thought to be not only a positive predictor of successful aging but also a product of it (Birren & fisher, 1990;).
  • studies have largely failed to find age related differences in 20s to their 90s (orwoll & perlmutter, 1990;
  • Other then wrinkles, there may be few inherent changes with age.
  • Development of perspective – is a function not of the passage of time but of life experiences and how people respond to them.
  • Contexts such as mentoring or being mentored may facilitate the development of wisdom (baltes & Staudinger, 1993;).
  • Certain occupational settings or social positions may provide structured training, both by the selection into these professions and by training” (j. smith et al. 1994, p. 991).

ENABLING AND INHIBITING FACTORS

Life Tasks

  • First ongoing and active participation in life in the form of self generated life tasks foreshadowed the development of wisdom by midlife.
  • Second, overall involvement in life tasks in the last 30’s and early 40’s played the largest role in forecasting wisdom by the early 50’s.
  • Finally, engaging in more career tasks in the late 30’s and early 40’s led to the development of precocious wisdom by age 43.
  • Engaging in the right tasks at the right time can have important long term effects on adult personality development.

Adjustment

How one responds to psychological and physical challenges plays an important part in whether or not one develops wisdom.

Coming to Terms with Life Choices

“Coming to terms” with life choices (Birren and Fisher, 1990) is that we have to decide what is changeable and what is not. (324)

Life changes

  • Those who have made more major life changes in the area of love and work were higher in the development of wisdom by midlife (Hartman, 2000).
  • Making more major life changes, particularly during the 30s, appears to have a positive effect on the development of wisdom.

Stressful Life Experiences

  • Finally, Harman (2000) found that experiencing more stressful life events across time can facilitate the development of wisdom.
  • Ego resilience – the capacity to integrate and find meaning and purpose in stressful life events appeared to play a significant role in the development of wisdom regardless of the number of ration of negative events one has experienced.
  • This suggests that resilience is a prerequisite of the development of perspective.

 

 

All of the information on each of these strengths come from Character Strengths and Virtues (Seligman & Peterson. 2004)

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.