Knowledge and Wisdom: Finding the Proper Balance of Both to Ensure Success

Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowledge and wisdom don’t always show up together in a person’s life. Have you ever met someone who thinks they know everything? They may have immense knowledge, but they lack wisdom. There’s a big difference between the two. One involves what you know; the other involves what you understand. 

Knowledge is a wonderful thing. Surgeons know how to perform surgery, mechanics know how to repair cars, carpenters know how to build homes, and architects know how to read blueprints. The list could go on and on; but you get the point. You gain knowledge through reading, being taught, and simply doing. 

The Source of Wisdom is God

True wisdom comes from God. In the Bible, the book of Proverbs is all about wisdom. I like the way Proverbs 2:6 words it in the Contemporary English Version. The scripture says, “All wisdom comes from the Lord, and so do common sense and understanding.”  Proverbs 4:7 tells us, “The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (New International Version) You can gain immense knowledge and have a degree with letters behind your name. That’s great, but it won’t give you wisdom. Knowledge can teach you the how, but it might not teach you the why. Knowledge is great, but it won’t improve your interpersonal skills or your relationships with others. Think of knowledge as a ship. A ship can take you to places you couldn’t reach otherwise, but it must be guided by a rudder. Without a rudder, a ship would go off course. In life, wisdom is the rudder. God-given wisdom enables us to apply our knowledge effectively to pursue our destiny. 

Never Mistake Knowledge for Wisdom

I once heard a quote that said, “Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” Knowledge must be applied through the filter of wisdom. Knowing you can do something is one thing; whether you should, is another. The “whether you should” part involves wisdom. There are often many situations we have knowledge of, but often discussing or acting on the situation isn’t wise. When people rely solely on knowledge, marriages and relationships are destroyed, businesses fail, and individuals don’t reach their full potential. Knowledge has brought wealth to many people, but a lack of wisdom has caused many to become bankrupt. Knowledge focuses on improving ourselves. Wisdom’s focus far exceeds simple self-improvement. Wisdom strives to apply the knowledge we have to help others and change the world around us. Knowledge and wisdom are both wonderful, but they must be used together. Proverbs 8:10-11 says it best. That passage reads, “Choose my instruction rather than silver, and knowledge rather than pure gold. For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.”

I Now Realize How Much I Don’t Know

Like most kids, when I was young, I thought I knew everything. As I grew older and wiser, I awakened to the reality of how much I didn’t know. Wisdom gained often brings about humility we may have lacked in our younger years. The longer I live, the more I realize there is much I don’t know. I don’t know why good people face suffering and hardships. I don’t know why there is such evil in the world today. Often, I don’t know why people act the way they do. My knowledge of many issues is limited. But, my God-given wisdom and salvation through faith reminds me God is in control. Wisdom helps me determine which battles are worth fighting. Sometimes wisdom says, “Let it go.” I always want to gain more knowledge, but I continue to seek wisdom regarding how to apply it. I understand any knowledge gained is worthless if I can’t use it with wisdom to make this world a better place.  

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

Mark

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