“The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.” – H.L. Mencken
We continue this week’s look at Old Testament figures that can teach us a think or two about being a Christian in Corporate America with a look at Asa. Before Asa became king of Israel, the nation had been led for decades by those who worshipped idols. Upon becoming king, Asa wholeheartedly gave his heart and that of his nation’s to the Lord. He purged the nation of idol worship and relied upon God for sustenance and wisdom.
One of the great moments of Asa’s reign was when a huge army of Ethiopians came north to invade Israel. After Asa cried out to the Lord, “O Lord, no one but you an help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in you alone.” the Lord helped Israel achieve victory despite being outnumbered.
However, with age Asa began to rely too heavily upon his own knowledge and no longer felt that he should trust in “God alone.” When another smaller army came threatening, Asa came up with his own scheme – a partnership with the local pagan Arameans. The plan worked, but a prophet told Asa that he had blown it by not seeking God’s input. For the rest of his life, Asa remained too stuborn to admit his wrongdoing and never fully turned back to the Lord.
I’ve been surrounded by veteran members of our company for many years and have found that they are a very diverse lot. Some seem to reinvent themselves constantly, learning new things and engaging with new (and often younger) people, while others seem stuck in earlier eras. In our world of constant change – where markets, strategies, technologies and conventional wisdom change quicker than the price of gasoline – growing too reliant upon our own smarts can be a terrible liability. Wisdom is timeless, but being wise means remembering how we grow as professionals – through keeping an open mind, learning from others, and always seeking God’s will in important decisions.