I was discussing the importance of mentorship with a group. While I was debriefing, a gentleman raised his hand. He said, “So I need to find someone who has been here in my position for a long time so I can get knowledge from them?” I told him that was almost it. I explained that it wasn’t really knowledge he should be seeking from the mentor. What he needs to be seeking is wisdom. You can get knowledge from just about anywhere, and knowledge is good to have. However, knowledge doesn’t really help you if you don’t know what to do with it. Wisdom gives you insight on how to make the best decisions with the knowledge you gain.
In 1 Kings 10, Solomon was visited by the Queen of Sheba. She had heard how wise he was and wanted to see for herself. She observed how his servants and palace were organized and run. She also came prepared with lots of questions hoping Solomon would mentor her a bit. After he answered her questions, she said he was even more wise than what she had heard. Then, in verse 8 she said, “How happy your people must be! What a privilege for your officials to stand here day after day, listening to your wisdom!” (NLT). A Queen was a bit jealous of the commoners who had the opportunity to listen and learn from his wisdom each day.
In Proverbs 5:11 Solomon wrote, “For wisdom is far more valuable than rubies. Nothing you desire can compare with it.” Our world has given this kind of value to knowledge instead of wisdom. More and more people are seeking knowledge over wisdom, but you and I can’t do that. We must place a high value on godly wisdom rooted in His Word. We must seek out people who are more wise than we are and learn from them. Solomon also said that if you want to be wise, you must walk with the wise (Proverbs 13:10). Look around at the people God had placed in your life. Who can you ask to mentor you and give you wisdom? Be prepared with situations and questions when you meet with them. God desires that we gain wisdom. It’s time we were proactive in getting it.
One of the Bible verses my wife and I pray often is James 1:5. We are constantly asking God to give us wisdom liberally. When someone needs counseling, we pray that prayer before, and during, the meeting. When we’re trying to make ends meet, we ask for wisdom. When have decisions to make, you guessed it, we pray for wisdom. We often gain knowledge about things, but we understand we don’t know all the facts and that wisdom is knowing what to do with information. We never want to do things out of our own wisdom or knowledge, so we seek God to give us His knowing that He will supply it.
Proverbs 2:6 says, “Wisdom is a gift from a generous God, and every word he speaks is full of revelation and becomes a fountain of understanding within you” (TPT). God wants to give us wisdom, but we must seek it, then listen to what He says. There’s a period a quiet after asking so that the Holy Spirit can call to remembrance verses in the Bible that may apply (John 14:26). How can we hear the Holy Spirit if we’re still talking or praying? He gives the right words at the right time. People need a word from God more than they need words from us. Listening for scriptures or Bible verses is a way to do that.
Also Proverbs 20:45 says, “A man of deep understanding will give good advice, drawing it out from the well within.” We have to dig deep for wisdom. God has put His kingdom within each of us, but it is up to us to seek it and draw it out. When we read the Bible, meditate on it and put it in our heart, we are feeding that well deep with us. The story’s and words we read become a fountain of understanding that God will use in our own lives and in the lives of others. I pray each day for God to give me a deep understanding of His Word and for Him to help me read it with fresh eyes so I can see things I’ve never seen and make connections within it that I’ve missed. I know that when God reveals His Word to me, it isn’t just for me. It’s for anyone I come across who needs a word from Him. By putting it inside of me, I can draw on it through the Holy Spirit when needed.
One of the greatest disparities between people today and every other generation in history is the amount of knowledge that is so readily available. In the past, knowledge was handed down from books and elders. Today, the internet has everything you need to know. I’ve used YouTube to learn how to do mechanical work on my car, cook dinner, learn about history and so much more. Living in the age of the internet has definitely increased people’s knowledge.
What it hasn’t done is increase wisdom. I believe because we have forgotten the difference between the two. Knowledge puffs up, but wisdom builds up. Since time began, wisdom has been passed down from elders. With all the knowledge available, we have forgotten to walk with the wise to gain wisdom. God’s desire is that you and I grow in wisdom. Remember, it was the Tree of Knowledge that brought sin into the world. God isn’t against us being knowledgeable, but He understands that knowledge without wisdom is dangerous.
Here are some Bible verses on wisdom.
1. Those who trust their own insight are foolish, but anyone who walks in wisdom is safe.
Proverbs 28:26 NLT
2. Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.
James 1:5 HCSB
3. Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do. Whatever else you get, get insight.
Proverbs 4:7 GNT
4. Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.
Job 12:12 NLT
5. He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise, But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.
PROVERBS 13:20 AMP
I’ve had the privilege of hearing John Maxwell speak and teach several times in person. As he speaks, I’m furiously trying to capture as many notes as I can. After the first time I heard him speak, I was blown away at the wisdom and depth of his teaching. I heard someone liken that lesson to drinking wisdom from a firehouse. There was no way to capture it all. I made sure that I had the opportunity to hear him at other events because there was so much to gain when he spoke.
Each of us have heard the story how Solomon famously asked for wisdom when God asked him what he wanted. God was so pleased that he didn’t ask for fame, riches or long life that He gave all of those things to him. I Kings 4 tells of how his wisdom spread and also of the things he understood. Then in the last verse it says, “And Kings from every nation sent their ambassadors to listen to the wisdom of Solomon” (NLT). They recognized how much there was to gain from listening when he spoke.
In Proverbs 13:20 Solomon wrote, “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble.” He was letting telling us to look at who we are around and listening to. The people that we associate with have a lot to do with whether or not we are increasing in wisdom or not. Do the people around you add value to you? Are you learning from them? These are questions each of us should be asking ourselves.
I often tell people that it’s hard to soar with eagles when you’re walking around with turkeys. Are you looking for opportunities to learn to fly? Are you associate with those who are flying? Or are you grounded because the people around you are satisfied with staying on the ground? The ones we associate with determine how high we can fly. Choose to fly with the wise so that you can become wise. Your life will be better off and others will choose to be near you to hear what you have to say.
Recently, I was sitting in a room with several other ministers. One by one they began to share their heart and the things they are doing. I began to feel insecure and fear came over me because my turn was coming up. I panicked and wanted to leave. It’s not often I feel this way. The next morning, a friend sent me a video from John Maxwell where he discussed how being around people who are better than you is a good thing. It put things back into perspective.
Proverbs 13:20 tells us that if we want to be wise, we must keep company with the wise. To be better at anything, including become more wise, we are going to have to be around people who are better than us. We have to put ourselves in position to admit we’re not the best at something, become vulnerable, and then take time to learn from them. Each of us have room for growth, but that only happens when we are around people who are further along than we are.
Here are some Bible verses on wisdom.
1. The value of wisdom is more Than coral or crystal or rubies.
Job 28:18 GNT
2. The [reverent] fear of the LORD [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the instruction for wisdom [its starting point and its essence]; And before honor comes humility.
PROVERBS 15:33 AMP
3. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.
Proverbs 4:7 NLT
4. Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor.
James 3:17-18 MSG
5. But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all.
James 1:5 GNT