Wednesday, November 7, 2012

EMMDEV 2012-11-07 [Proverbs revisited] Wisdom

Andries Combrink sent this one to me and I just couldn't resist it - especially the bit about the wrinkles at the end!!!! :-)
Wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs3:15

Knowledge is not the same as wisdom...

We all place a high value on knowledge. We envy people who are highly trained and have scarce skills. We work hard and pay a lot of money to acquire as much knowledge for ourselves and our children, as possible. And we have many resources. We have magazines, books, newspapers and the internet, good schools (in our community) and various colleges! We are an information-oriented society that has accumulated so much knowledge that we had to invent microchips on which to store it all.

We are a society that loves the hunt for knowledge. We want as much of it as possible.

In this way we are like the church in the times of James. The people whom James addresses also placed a high value on knowledge. They actually were too proud of all the knowledge they acquired. They thought that they were superior to the average person on the street, because they had more knowledge than they have. They thought that their knowledge made them wise.

The problem was that they confused knowledge with wisdom.

James, being as direct as he is about everything he writes, also was correcting this misunderstanding. He tells them that knowledge and wisdom is not the same thing. Knowledge is simply facts and information. It is theory without implementation. It is policy that does not come to fruition A with only knowledge without wisdom is someone who has accumulated a lot of facts and information without implementing it. It is like faith without works: dead and useless!

According to James, you can know who is knowledgeable, without having wisdom, by his or her characteristics, which are envy, selfish ambition, and jealousy (James 3:14). In other words, a person of knowledge can use what he or she knows to advance him or herself, only.

But wisdom is knowledge that is used to help others. It is implemented for the sake of others, for the growth of the Church and for extending God’s work. Wisdom is the use of what one has learned in one’s life of faith and experience with God, to impact on others.

James tells us that the characteristics of a wise person are gentleness, sincerity and peacefulness (James 3:17).

In ancient times, unlike the modern day, it was wisdom that was sought after and valued, more than knowledge. The book of Proverbs tells us that "wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her" (Proverbs 3:15). Proverbs also tells us that "the person who trusts in oneself is a fool, but the one who walks in wisdom is kept safe" (Prov 28:26). The book of Ecclesiastes even says: (Eccl 8:1) “Who is like the wise? Who knows the explanation of things? A person’s wisdom brightens their face and changes its hard appearance.” He is saying that foolishness is the cause of wrinkles!”

Theo Groeneveld
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