How to get Wisdom

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011
For a writing assignment, I had to write an extended definition about a topic.  I chose to write about Wisdom.

King Solomon and the Bee“How much better is it to get wisdom than gold!  And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.”  (Proverbs 16:16)  Wisdom is something that can be very hard to define because it encompasses a number of different qualities – each working together to strengthen the others.  In today’s society, the word “wisdom” is often used interchangeably with the word “knowledge” – but this is a gross misuse of the word!  Although knowledge is a small part of wisdom, wisdom is not the collection of facts and figures to be foolishly spouted off to anyone who will be made to listen.  A wise person will share his knowledge at appropriate times so as not to humiliate or embarrass, and for the sole purpose of helping others – not to draw attention to himself.  This knowledge is used to give him the ability to make good decisions or to be discerning.  Francis Bacon said that “A prudent question is one-half of wisdom”.  A wise person is always ready to learn from others no matter how young or old for he realizes that he does not always have the right answers.  

Chicken Little runs to spread the word that It has been said that wisdom is advanced common sense.  While this is not the best definition of wisdom, it is true that a wise person will use discernment to avoid dangerous or questionable situations.  He will always seek to be a peacemaker and will think before he speaks.  Before making decisions or drawing conclusions, he will make sure that he has all of the information or facts available.  For example, in the story of Chicken Little, Chicken Little had the knowledgeFox after a delicious dinner of fried chicken that something had fallen out of the sky, but he did not have the wisdom or the discernment to discover what it was before he spread rumors to all of the other animals.  When he met the Fox, an enemy who said that he would take Chicken Little and his news to the king, Chicken Little did not have the wisdom or discernment to see that he was getting himself into a dangerous situation.

How can one obtain wisdom?  Herb Caen once said, “A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.”  This means that wisdom is often obtained through experience learning from one’s mistakes.  However, God is the most important source of wisdom.  In James 1:5 we are told, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

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