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What is Wisdom?

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Today’s sermon by Pastor @ my church…”What is wisdom?”

That’s a good title, set me thinking. What is wisdom?

Many people confused Proverbs 1:7 with wisdom. If you study carefully, you will notice that in Proverbs 1:7, the word knowledge is being used, not wisdom.

7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and discipline. 

The actual phrase that referred to wisdom is in Proverbs 9:10.

10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

I like the word “Fear” in NIV version. In Chinese Bible, the word “敬畏” is being used. The Chinese word is a combination of “respect” + “fear”, where my personal interpretation is more referring to respect than fear, which in my personal opinion is having a totally different emotional feel than the English word “Fear”. Yes, fear we should to the Lord. When we fear, then only we will do things carefully, carry out task carefully. Fear of not achieving God’s standard, always do our best for the Lord.

Know your Lord, know Him, and fear be you to Him. He is almighty, all knowledge. He created us, He is justice, He is love. Once you know Him, fear be you to Him, and you shall have wisdom.

What is Wisdom?

It set me thinking…what is wisdom? From human point of view, wisdom can be the application of knowledge, use the knowledge that you have, in solving problems that you faced.

Is that the wisdom that what God wants us to have? Personally I would interpret wisdom as:

“Able to judge or make decision based on God’s standard.”

What’s the different between the first and the second? Application of knowledge, someone can apply his knowledge in doing bad things. We do not call that someone a wise person or having wisdom. That someone has knowledge, but does not apply his knowledge rightfully, so he has no wisdom. Now there is an important keyword in my sentence above – Bad Things. What is bad things? Different time will have different interpretation of what is right and what is wrong. Something that you did today could be good in today’s standard, but maybe bad in say 10 years time. Let me give you an example:

  • Sex before marriage

This is NOT allowable in the old time, but nowadays, we can see this everywhere, especially in big cities or more modern countries. The standard of human is changeable, the moral of human is not permanent. In order to define wisdom, we need to stick to something that does not change, which in my opinion is God’s standard.

That is why in my definition of wisdom, I involved God’s standard. If we do not judge or do things as according to God’s standard, then we have no wisdom. Only if we can fear the Lord and judge things (make decision, carry out tasks) carefully, then wisdom of God will be upon us.

Just sharing, may God give me wisdom in writing.