“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.” Proverbs 3:13-14 (ESV)
We live in a world that values knowledge and learning. Information is important, and we have never had more information available at our fingertips than any other time in man’s history. But the far too often reality is that we have a lot of learning, knowledge and information but we don’t have equal doses of discernment. In Romans 12:1, Paul records a few words with huge implications: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The problem lacking in much of what we read and hear and even see (because seeing isn’t always believing) is that it is devoid of truth or taken out of context. We need to apply some tests and be discerning about the things we think are true so that we live life well.
Just because the most recent expert says “this is true” doesn’t necessarily make it true. Knowledge may or may not be factual. At one time, most accepted the truth that the earth was flat. Therefore, you could fall off of it if you ventured too far afield. But that “knowledge” was incorrect and false. That may have limited many from venturing out too far or in being fearful of getting too close to the edge. Even if you have the truth about something, you need wisdom to apply it. In other words, wisdom is the ability to see what is true or real and then apply it in life.
I have found that the best way to gain wisdom is to read God’s Word. The reason is simple: the Bible paints an accurate picture about man and gives clarity about the law of consequences. Here are just a few examples:
Proverbs 10:19 “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” The more we say, the more likely we will be wrong at some point. Furthermore, some seem to think that if they use more words to defend their case or position, it adds value to their argument. If someone is a talker, perhaps you should also examine if their lives match their words. The problem is lots of thoughtless or lying words. The consequence is that you are breaking God’s law and God has to judge that sin.
Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” Many make decisions based on little or no information, experience or guidance. The counselors you choose, of course, do matter. But the reality is that it usually helps to have someone else look at a potential course of action or decision and ask some hard questions. The problem is failing to seek wisdom from others. The consequence is serious and hurtful failure.