What is Wisdom?
This morning I awoke at 2:30 a.m. for the third consecutive day in a row. The last two days I forced myself back to sleep. Today I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t shut my mind off. I read the Bible. I read the news. I searched Facebook. I read one post after another and couldn’t help but notice all the quotes and nuggets of knowledge that exist on all of my friends news feeds. But that is when it struck me. Most of these little golden nuggets have been around forever in some shape or form, yet why do so many of us not heed their advice?
When I used to think of the word wisdom, I would think of some old grey haired man with a long beard, like Dumbledore in the Harry Potter movies. Wisdom was something that you could only pass on after years of mastery, like Mr. Miyagi teaching Danielson to “wax on / wax off” in The Karate Kid. Okay, enough movie references, but I think that you know what I mean.
So as I laid in bed and gained control of my wandering sleepless mind, I kept thinking about what I was going to write today regarding Proverbs Chapter 8 titled, “Wisdom’s Call”.
As I silenced my mind and allowed my thoughts to become clear, the one thing that I kept asking myself was “what exactly is wisdom?” As I read the chapter I waited for a verse to speak to me. At first, I got nothing so I read the chapter a couple more times, then there it was. Verses 10 and 11.
10 Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
11 for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Maybe it is because its 4 a.m. but when God is telling me to choose instruction over silver and knowledge over gold, I think I better listen!
Then for him to go on and say that wisdom is more precious than rubies and that NOTHING compare to her… What??? Nothing? Nothing at all compares to wisdom?? If this is true, then why is it so hard for me to understand exactly WHAT wisdom is?
For many years I have considered knowledge to be synonymous with wisdom. Wax on / wax off. Isn’t that simply Mr. Miyagi sharing knowledge with Danielson? Isn’t he simply giving him instruction? To wax the car you wax it on like this, then wax it off like that. If you do this you will have a nice shiny, smooth paint job. This in fact is great knowledge, where knowledge transforms into wisdom, is when you put that knowledge and instruction into action!
What makes Mr. Miyagi and Dumbledore so “wise” is that they just don’t “know” how to do something, they have “done” it, mastered it. It is through repetitive action that knowledge becomes wisdom.
After much consideration, the easiest way I can define WISDOM would be to say that WISDOM, is knowledge put into ACTION. For the past seven years, I have been affiliated with a great company full of many incredible people. As part of the operation of this company, there is a wealth information and knowledge passed throughout the organization. What has always bothered me is that even though knowledge and instruction exist, and for the most part is spot on, many people never get past the point of “knowing” what to do. Week after week, month after month they attend events, webinars and training’s where the exact same information is being shared by many different voices in multiple different ways. What has always frustrated me is that very few of these knowledge seekers, put what they learn into action.
Imagine how differently The Karate Kid would have turned out had Danielson simply sat in a crowd of people and listened as Mr. Miyagi told the enthusiastic assembly to “wax on / wax off”. I can see Danielson sitting there with a pen in one hand, a camera in the other feverishly taking notes and pictures of Mr. Miyagi’s PowerPoint presentation. I can see him stand up and cheer as Mr. Miyagi walked off the stage to the roar of the crowd as his theme music was pumping through the speakers. Now imagine Danielson going home and deciding that because he was at that seminar, and learned information from one of the best karate masters in the world, he was ready to enter a competition. What would have been his fate? Most likely the movie would have ended with Danielson receiving a ride to the local hospital, right? You simply cannot go from student to master without taking action on the knowledge that we gain first.
Are we any different? God fills the Bible will knowledge and instruction. We spend our lives at church, study groups and with our noses in the book trying to gain knowledge for our salvation. But if we stop there, if we stop at knowledge, we are no different than the image I just painted of Danielson.
To receive all the gifts that God wants to give us, it is not enough to “know”. We must, above all else, put the instruction and the knowledge that we receive into ACTION. For when we take ACTION we gain WISDOM and it is WISDOM (knowledge in action) that is the key that will unlock the door to everything that we desire.
Hope you have an action filled day!
What is one piece of knowledge that you have that you have yet to take action upon? Today, begin to turn that knowledge into wisdom by taking action and apply that knowledge into your life!