Wisdom Versus Knowledge

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Wisdom Versus Knowledge

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Is it possible that as worldly knowledge increases, wisdom decreases? Humanity has accomplished much and has many clever sayings, such as “knowledge is power.” But it’s a spiritual paradox of sorts.

Let’s consider Scripture. Standing amidst an assortment of pagan altars, Paul stood up at Mars Hill and said: “Men of Athens, I see how very religious you are in every way” (Acts 17:22 Acts 17:22Then Paul stood in the middle of Mars’ hill, and said, You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious.
American King James Version×
). Paul spoke to them at their spiritual level. He didn’t look down his nose and walk away. He didn’t say, “Your idols are outrageous and need to be destroyed.”

He may have screened his thoughts and practiced diplomacy. Paul found a way to tell them some good news about his merciful, all-powerful God, using a sliver of wisdom he found among these knowledgeable Athenians: “I found an altar where you worship with the words written on it, TO THE GOD WHO IS NOT KNOWN. You are worshiping Him without knowing Him. He is the One I will tell you about” (Acts 17:22-23 Acts 17:22-23 22 Then Paul stood in the middle of Mars’ hill, and said, You men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, him declare I to you.
American King James Version×
).

Wisdom can be found anywhere God chooses, whether we hear it or not: “Wisdom cries out in the street; she utters her voice in the markets” (Proverbs 1:20 Proverbs 1:20Wisdom cries without; she utters her voice in the streets:
American King James Version×
). We may cry out in prayer for understanding and seek it as treasure, but Scripture cautions about misplacing our focus on knowledge: “And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2 1 Corinthians 13:2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
American King James Version×
).

God’s Word offers direction for the times we lose our way on the road of wisdom: “What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8 Micah 6:8He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?
American King James Version×
). Communication and signs are navigation tools. Ask for wisdom and observe the fruit borne from that request. “Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly” (Proverbs 3:18 Proverbs 3:18She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her: and happy is every one that retains her.
American King James Version×
).

Connecting the dots on this spiritual treasure-seeking quest will help us stay on target for the heavenly wisdom of James 3:17 James 3:17But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
American King James Version×
and our true, living God.