Everyone would like to have more knowledge.
We may not all care about knowledge in the same areas, but when we care about something, we like to acquire information about it. We want to know the most fun facts about our favorite TV show, book series, or movie saga. We like to be able to rattle off the statistics of our home baseball team. We want to be the most credentialed professional in the office. We want knowledge, and we also want others to know we have it.
Knowledge isn’t bad, but knowledge without wisdom is just pride.
Knowledge without the discernment of how to use it makes us feel better, but it doesn’t make us better.
Knowledge attainment alone is about ego.
I don’t want self-seeking knowledge. I want wisdom. So, how do we acquire it?
The Bible has a lot to say about wisdom, and it explains what wise people do differently. Here are three disciplines it emphasizes. If we put these into practice, we will be well on our way to gaining wisdom.
1. The humility to accept wise counsel.
“The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” – Proverbs 12:15
“The wise in heart accept commands, but a chattering fool comes to ruin.” – Proverbs 10:8
A wise person is humble enough to accept that they aren’t always right. We don’t always know best, and we often need the insight of others to make good decisions. One of the best ways to gain wisdom is to surround ourselves with wise people.
“Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” – Proverbs 14:29
Ouch. This one is tough for me. How about you? Are you quick to take offense? Are you easily frustrated? People who practice patience aren’t easily angered, and they don’t allow small delays to ruin their day.
I love what Maya Angelou said about this, “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
3. Make every day count.
“Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” – Psalm 90:12
Remembering the fact that we will die one day reminds us to work hard to make every day count. Although it feels morbid, it’s healthy think about death. Living in light of this reality should make us live differently.
This week, consider how you’re gaining wisdom. Are you humble enough to surround yourself with good people? Are you patient when it’s easy to be frustrated? Are you living in a way that makes every day count?
Here’s the really cool part about pursuing wisdom: not only do these practices—seeking wise counsel, responding with patience, and having a healthy perspective of our lives— lead to wisdom, but the wiser you are the more naturally these qualities come.
Seek wisdom. It’s only when we grow in wisdom that knowledge can have a meaningful purpose in our lives.
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