What is wisdom?
There are varying thoughts on the subject; so, I thought we’d take a few minutes to look at what some scholars say, what the Bible says, what I think, and I’m hoping you’ll add your thoughts in the comments.
What is wisdom? Scholars
“Wisdom is the ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight.” Wikipedia
“Wisdom is nothing more nor less than a set of ideas, an attitude toward life. It enables one to live a life of meaning and of happiness.” ~Bergant
“We are not provided with wisdom, we must discover it for ourselves, after a journey through the wilderness which no one else can take for us, and effort which no one can spare us.” ~Marcel Proust
“Wisdom is knowing the difference between what can and can’t be changed.” ~The Serenity Prayer
“Wisdom involves an integration of knowledge, experience, and deep understanding that incorporates tolerance for the uncertainties of life as well as its ups and downs.” ~Psychology Today
Wise Researchers Close in on the Definition of Wisdom, lists the following as characteristics of wisdom:
- Wisdom is uniquely human.
- Wisdom is a form of advanced cognitive and emotional development that is experience-driven.
- Wisdom is a personal quality, albeit rare.
- Wisdom can be learned, increases with age and can be measured.
- Wisdom is probably not enhanced by taking medication.
What is Wisdom? The Bible
Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding. For wisdom is more profitable than silver, and her wages are better than gold. Proverbs 3:13–14
“I, Wisdom, live together with good judgment.
I know where to discover knowledge and discernment.
All who fear the Lord will hate evil.
Therefore, I hate pride and arrogance,
corruption and perverse speech.
Common sense and success belong to me.
Insight and strength are mine.
“The Lord formed me from the beginning,
before He created anything else. Proverbs 8:12–14,22
The fear of the Lord is the foundation of wisdom. Proverbs 9:10
But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength. 1 Corinthians 1:24–25
Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. 1 Corinthians 3:18–19
What is Wisdom? What I Think.
It’s hard isn’t it? Looking through eyes of faith at the commonly held beliefs around us. Those little lies that masquerade as truth. The almost truths we’ve grown to believe. Things like: being happy is most important, beauty makes you more powerful, and wealth makes you more important.
But true wisdom doesn’t care:
- How much money you have.
- How many degrees you have.
- Who you know.
- Where you’ve traveled.
- How popular or beautiful you are.
- or anything else . . .
True wisdom tests itself against God’s Word. True wisdom influences our everything . . . our words, actions, and thoughts. And for me, true wisdom is grounded in my relationship with Jesus, my Lord and Savior.
Jesus, the One who turned the world upside down by teaching that love, kindness, forgiveness, humility, patience, service, faithfulness, peace, self-control, and offer a better way to live.
A wise way to live.
Jesus, the One who offered His body to be crucified as the sacrifice for forgiveness, for life and a restored relationship with God.
A wise way to trust.
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 13:
Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. v. 12–13
A wise way. Faith, hope, love . . . wisdom!
To have wisdom is to be blessed by the truth of God’s love, grace, and mercy. It is living in and with faith, hope, and love. Grounded on a relationship with God through Jesus that will last forever and always.
It will seem foolish to anyone who places their value in popularity, power, or possessions, but to those who are in Christ Jesus . . . wisdom is life! Life in us. Life through Jesus. Life with God.
If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. James 1:5
What do you think? What is wisdom?
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