Wisdom: Who Has It and Who Needs It?

Wisdom Is Elusive And Worth Seeking

One day as a freshman in college I had a conversation with the Dean of Students about something related to my behavior. I don’t remember what it was or the advice he gave me but I do remember thinking I was clever so I said to him, “Thank you, a word to the wise is sufficient.” Then, before I had even a few seconds to bask in my cleverness he replied, “A word to the wise is unnecessary.”

WIse as an owl - wisdom

Wisdom. The word conjures up different images. doesn’t it? One is an owl.  I remember growing up hearing the phrase “wise as an owl.” I never thought about why people said it.  It turns out the history of that concept goes all the way back to Greek mythology.

Another image that comes to mind is that of an old man or woman sitting in a rocking chair or perhaps a bearded religious person, like a guru sitting on a mountain. Depending upon the person, it might be appropriate to call them wise.  However, I think we all know that neither age nor religious beliefs make one wise.

A basic definition of wisdom is

knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.

Wisdom is a prominent concept in the Bible. The Bible tells us about the wisest person who ever lived, King Solomon, and a book he and others wrote that’s full of wisdom, Proverbs. Although most of what the Bible has to say about wisdom is in regard to people, wisdom has its real source in God. Ecclesiastes 8:1 describes four benefits to being wise.

Four Benefits of Wisdom

  1. It makes you unique. There are not many wise in this world.
  2. It is insight, the ability to see things in people and situations that others miss.
  3. It brightens up your life by giving you joy.
  4. It softens your rough edges.

This is good stuff!  However, just in case you still aren’t convinced about how important it is, here’s how valuable the Bible says wisdom is:

  • it’s more valuable than gold, silver or precious stone Job 28
  • it’s to be searched for like silver or treasure Proverbs 2:2-4
  • it’s worth spending everything you have to get it Proverbs 3:13-15

At some point today, when you aren’t sure what to do, stop and ask God for wisdom. Trust Him to give you wisdom and watch what happens. Then come back here and let me know what happened.

I’d love to hear from you, so please leave a question or comment below.