In our society today a lot of emphasis is placed on how smart a person is perceived to be. People are judged by those criteria in many aspects of life.
We expend large sums of money on higher education in an effort to pursue knowledge and skills that are marketable in the workplace. These are certainly admirable pursuits and our society benefits from the sharing of knowledge.
Higher education is sometimes equated with wisdom. Academic circles where topics such as evolution, philosophy, humanism, government, and religion are discussed are held in high regard. Those who have acquired this higher education sometimes look down upon those who have not been informed in the same way.
Our consideration for today is whether or not the accumulation of knowledge brings wisdom. Wisdom is often confused with knowledge but they are not the same.
God has some interesting things to say about wisdom. He doesn’t necessarily agree with what mankind considers knowledge and wisdom.
1 Corinthians 3: 18 – 19
"Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a fool so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight."
Wisdom has been defined as understanding what is true, right, or lasting and includes common sense and good judgment. These attributes are slightly different than academic knowledge. True wisdom includes knowledge and yet surpasses it.
So, where does God’s true wisdom come from? How do we obtain it? God tells us that wisdom begins with a relationship with him.
Psalms 111: 10
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding."
Although academic knowledge is important for us to be contributors to the society around us the pursuit of God’s wisdom will bring us greater spiritual peace and happiness. In order to attain this kind of wisdom we must develop our relationship with God and pursue the knowledge revealed in his Word. These pursuits will bring us a Godly reward and satisfaction in this life.
Psalms 119: 97 – 100
"Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers for I meditate on your statutes. I have more understanding than the elders for I obey your precepts."
Knowledge according to the standards of this world is a valuable asset for finding proper employment and being a contributor to the betterment of society. However, if we seek to attain true wisdom we will have to look to God. A proper relationship of respect and obedience to God along with the knowledge of his Word will produce the wisdom God wants for us.
We shouldn’t concern ourselves too much with being judged on how smart we are by the people of this world. God’s true wisdom will make us wiser than them all!