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
A couple of years ago I read a Mark Twain quote that really got me thinking. He said, “The person who does not read has no advantage over the person who cannot read.” In our world, the average person only reads one book in their entire adult life after leaving their highest form of education. It’s like we learned enough to get a job and that’s it. We either don’t have time, don’t like reading or don’t care enough to increase our knowledge in certain areas. No matter what it is, when we fail to continue learning through reading, we fail to even learn new things about God.
Several years ago I read “Primal” by Mark Batterson. In it, he breaks down the greatest commandment found in Luke 10:27. “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind” (NLT). Loving God with all your mind is to never lose your sense of wonder with Him. Romans 11:33 says, “Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge!” We could try to learn about Him more each day and never even scratch the surface of knowing God fully. Does that mean we shouldn’t try? No! We must learn to love God with all our mind, to search Him out and to be hungry for more knowledge of Him.
Proverbs 18:15 says, “The spiritually hungry are always ready to learn more, for their hearts are eager to discover new truths” (TPT). Are you spiritually hungry to know more of God or have you lost your desire? Our spiritual growth is dependent on knowing Him more and searching out the Scriptures. When we’re no longer spiritually hungry to know Him more, we fail to love Him with all our mind. We fail to meet the potential He built us with. We must stir up our hungry to know Him more by recognizing we don’t know everything about Him or enough about Him. God wants us to search Him out, to know Him more and to grow closer to Him, but we must do our part and recognize that we have a part to play in this. We must search Him out, find ways to increase our knowledge of Him and discover new truths for ourselves. You may never know Him fully while living here, but we shouldn’t let that stop us.
Have you ever heard anyone speak that just blew your mind? For me, it was John Maxwell. I remember the first time I heard him speak. I was at a conference where he was one of the keynote speakers. When he started speaking, it was one wisdom bomb after another. I was furiously taking notes trying to capture it all. My friend and I kept looking at each other’s iPads to see what we missed. For an hour and a half, I did my best to try to keep up knowing that there was no way I could absorb everything he was saying. My only hope was to capture what he was saying in my notes and read it all again and again to try to understand it all. I later heard someone describe that hour and a half as trying to drink wisdom from a firehose. I thought it was the perfect analogy.
In 1 Kings 3, Solomon was visited by God in a dream and asked him what he would like to be given. Solomon recognized his youth and inexperience, as well as the gravity of trying to be the ruler of God’s chosen people. He asked for wisdom to rule well. God was pleased with that answer and gave him more wisdom and understanding than anyone else. It was quickly shown off by his decision to split the baby in half to determine who its real mother was. When word got out about that, people took notice. He began to compose proverbs, songs, and openly discussed many topics. Then, in 1 Kings 4:34, it says, “Kings all over the world heard of his wisdom and sent people to listen to him” (GNT). It got me to thinking, “Who am I listening to? Who are the wise people in my life that have been blessed by God to speak wisdom? Am I taking time to seek them out in order to listen and learn from them?” What about you? Have you answered these thought about these questions yet?
Proverbs 13:20 says, “If you want to grow in wisdom, spend time with the wise. Walk with the wicked and you’ll eventually become like them” (TPT). Your parents were right. You will become like those you are around. I would hear, “If you want to fly with eagles, you can’t spend your time on the ground walking around with turkeys.” It’s time for you to identify the eagles that God has placed in your life, take the initiative and fly up to where they are. One thing I’ve learned about the wise, they don’t hoard the gift they’ve been given. They freely give it out to those who seek to be around them. What they won’t do is seek you out to give it to you. It’s up to each one of us to make time to have godly wisdom poured into our life. If you can’t identify anyone, or you’re too shy to seek them out and ask for it, then read books by wise people. People of uncommon wisdom are a fountain of information and understanding. Are you thirsty enough to take a drink, even if it feels like it coming from a firehose?
Often times, at the end of a lesson, I like to ask the group, “What were your key take aways?” What I really want to know is what they learned and what they’ll implement once they leave. As we go around the room, several people will give the same one. It’s always cool for me when that happens because there was a moment when lots of lightbulbs came on at one moment. They had an epiphany that there is something they’re not doing that’s holding them back, and they need to make a change in that area. If we never have those moments, we’ll keep on doing what we’ve been doing, and there’s little growth in that.
When you and I go through something, I often wonder if God is asking us what our key take aways are. I believe God wants each one of us to learn and grow. We should be constantly moving in the direction He’s leading us into. Along the way, there will be lessons to learn so that we can accomplish something He has for us down the road. God has great plans for each one of us, so we must be ready to learn and adjust along the way. John the Baptist said, “I must decrease, and He must increase,” to explain the change that needs to happen.
David was another person that learned lessons as he transitioned from a shepherd to a king. Before he became king, he shared some key take aways all of us can learn from in Psalm 27:14. He said, “Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave and courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting—for he will never disappoint you!” (TPT) Because He was able to learn these things and implement them into His life, God was able to exalt him to king. Imagine what God can do in your life if you’re willing to learn what He’s teaching you right now.