• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Knowledge vs Wisdom

Recently I heard someone boasting about their level of education. The next day I was still thinking about what this person had said. Yes, they are smart and obviously committed to education! They are to be commended. I will be the first to admit they are smarter than me.

To me, this person demonstrates knowledge. I can think of many people who have lots less education but are filled with wisdom. Webster’s dictionary defines knowledge as “the fact or condition of being aware of something.” It is the accumulation of facts. Webster defines wisdom as “ability to discern inner qualities and relationships.” Wisdom comes from experience. It is more important than wealth!

Proverbs 1: 7 "Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." In a recent blog I wrote about fearing God. It really means to be in awe of God. To be afraid of life without God! It is a deep honor and respect for God. So the beginning of wisdom is knowing we need God!

James 3: 17, "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere." Proverbs 2: 6 "For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."

We can know a lot of the facts and figures of Scripture. We can study theology and church history, we can go to church every Sunday, but miss out on knowing God. Knowledge of God is important. Having wisdom that comes from God is more important. Wisdom will take you further than knowledge because without the wisdom one does not know how to apply the knowledge. Wisdom is being able to apply knowledge to your life and give you a deeper meaning of your life.

Paul wrote that “all of us possess knowledge. This knowledge puffs up” (1 Cor 8:1) and even if I “understand all mysteries and all knowledge [and] have not love, I am nothing” (1 Cor 13:2). True wisdom is from the Lord and from obeying Him. The wisest thing you could ever do is to repent and trust in Christ. This is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs 4: 11, "I will teach you wisdom's ways and lead you in straight paths." Ecclesiastes 2: 26, "To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind."

Alfred, Lord Tennyson said, "Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers." What does it mean to you to be wise?

If you could make a one minute "words of wisdom" speech to the entire world, what would you say?


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