John Hannah, my Church History prof at Dallas Seminary used to say that you’ll find wisdom and folly in surprising places. The wisest people you know may act like fools if they’re in the wrong situation, or if the category has shifted out of their growth areas. His advice: try not to be devastated when they fail you. Be careful not to let your admiration turn into uncritical blindness to their weaknesses.

Other folks that you may have hastily written off, or prematurely judged to not have wisdom, will surprise you too–things are not always as they seem. His advice: Don’t trust first impressions; and value people well enough to listen. Don’t let your aversion turn into blindness to their strengths.

Both lines of advice tune us to humility. They protect us from hero-worship on the one hand, and snobbery on the other.