So I have been thinking a lot about what is true wisdom. The Bible of course declares that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” I believe this is 100% true. Apart from a proper honor, respect and fear of God, we can go adrift into many false beliefs.
Having said that, once we get started on the proper Biblical footing, how do we acquire and live in wisdom? I believe that wisdom is the acquiring both knowledge and experience and marrying them together.
Many people seem to think, and this has sort of been my default setting for much of my life, that gaining much knowledge makes one wise. Of course, if pressed, I would have denied this belief and given some sort of appropriate caveats to this suggestion, but at some level I nonetheless believed it!
On the other hand, I have observed incredibly wise people (some of the wisest people I know) who never got past a high school education. It seems that if you had to choose one or the other, as much as it pains me to admit it, experience is the much better teacher of wisdom than just knowledge.
Obviously, I think if we can have both we are at an advantage. When I started seminary 15 years ago I promised God that I would leave seminary if I found evidence that my mind was growing but my heart was not. After 2 years I had some strong evidence in my life that this was the case so I left seminary and didn’t return for over 6 years.
So where I stand today is that the acquisition of knowledge is a powerful catalyst and worthwhile pursuit if you are willing to apply the knowledge into your day to day experiences. If you want wisdom, gain knowledge and apply it experientially. God can teach you the most amazing things!
So when is the last time you accepted a truth and actually put it into practice? When you attend church, does your heart and mind grow side by side, or is it usually just your mind that learns a bit more about your faith?
I would challenge all of us to take a piece of knowledge and actually apply it in specific and tangible, measurable ways. It is incredible how fast you can sense the growth of wisdom. James says, “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.”
God is eager to give you wisdom! Please ask!