Friday, December 7, 2007

Knowledge or Wisdom?

I used to think that knowledge and wisdom were basically one and the same. If I ran into a really smart person, I would think that 'wow, they seem so wise. They have all of the answers'. As I study though I am seeing these two terms growing further apart.

Paul in Romans (and elsewhere) speaks constantly about the condition of the heart. He says that a person can be performing all kinds of rituals, be a member in the right organizations, or can come from a line of spiritual ancestry but if the heart is not devoted, it is all meaningless. How often do I see this today as people call themselves 'Christian' and are members of a church but their heart is worldly in nature. They may have all kinds of worldly knowledge but are they wise?

Solomon speaks about wisdom all the time in his Proverbs. In particular in Proverbs 4, verses 4 and 5, Solomon says "Lay hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands and you will live. Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them." Wisdom here is not earthly knowledge but learning God's Word and imprinting it in my mind and upon my heart.

Our conscience is a moral compass that has been placed in every human being. It is a moral sense of right and wrong that affects ones thoughts and behaviors. Knowledge does little to program the conscience. It is just worldly facts that have no eternal value. On the other hand, wisdom programs the conscience to obtain a true understanding of right and wrong. It has eternal value to the person obtaining the wisdom as well as those around him (or her) as their actions will be an example of moral balance and right living.

Are you striving to obtain Knowledge or Wisdom?