What Is Wisdom, Anyhow?

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The Bible talks a lot about the importance of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. But what is wisdom, anyhow?

When I was in junior high, my Sunday School teacher taught me that knowledge was memorizing facts, understanding was comprehending the significance of those facts, and wisdom was putting them into practice in my life.

That helped, but let’s dive a little deeper, shall we?

What is wisdom?

Wisdom is hidden.

Job tells us that men mine for gold and jewels, travel the earth, but cannot find wisdom. Birds of prey and might animals who fly and prowl do not see it.

But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
Man does not know its worth,
    and it is not found in the land of the living.
The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
    and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
~Job 28:12-14, ESV

When I’m in the midst of a situation, wisdom can be truly hard to see. My emotions often hide it from. My anger and frustration shield it from my view. I’m like the deep sea…it’s just not in me.

But I know that it should be. So, how?

Related: Searching For Value

What is wisdom?

Wisdom is priceless.

Job says that man doesn’t realize how valuable it is (Job 28:13). It is worth more than gold or glass or jewels. “The price of wisdom is above pearls,” Job says (Job 28:18).

Wisdom is priceless. It should be desired more than any treasure.

That means we should be both desire the attainment of it and cherish it when it is obtained. We should seek it out with the intention and passion that one mines for rubies, be willing to trade lesser things for it as one would trade for pearls.

What would that look like for you?

Trading my strong will for wisdom means being willing to be wrong. It means letting someone else teach me, even if I don’t want that. It means asking God to reveal it to me, for it’s hidden from my human eyes.

Related: When God and I Don’t Agree

Wisdom is God’s.

We’ve read that “with Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding” (Job 12:13, ESV). Wisdom belongs to God and He directs us to it.

From where, then, does wisdom come?
    And where is the place of understanding?
God understands the way to it,
    and he knows its place. ~Job 28:20, 23 ESV

And He also directs us to it, because He wants us to have it.

Wisdom can be attained by man.

James 1:5 assures us that God wants to give us wisdom.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

But still…what is it?

True wisdom is honoring God and fearing Him.

And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
    and to turn away from evil is understanding.’ (Job 28:28, ESV)

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
    all those who practice it have a good understanding.
    His praise endures forever! (Ps 111:10, ESV)

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. (Prov 9:10, ESV)

Fear of the LORD teaches wisdom; humility precedes honor. (Prov 15:33, ESV)

Related: 5 Ways To Make God Happy

What Is Wisdom?

Wisdom is like a buried treasure. We can’t find it easily, but we know it’s worth in unimaginable.

Unlike buried treasure, however, all we have to do is ask to receive it.

When we ask for wisdom, God gives it. When we fear God, we find the beginning of it.

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