It is crucial that we constantly progress forward. In doing so, wisdom, knowledge, and understanding allow us to do this.
Before I begin with the “meat” of this post, I will explain the difference between the three words:
- Knowledge: Is having information.
- Understanding: Is being able to comprehend the information you have.
- Wisdom: Is using knowledge correctly. (In a sense it is the application of both knowledge and understanding).
In the book of Proverbs, each of these words are extremely important, but the most valuable of these is wisdom. Why? Well according to our definitions, even if you have knowledge and are able to understand it, if you do not use it correctly what use is it? If I get a flat tire and there is no one to help me change it, but I know how to change it, understand the process to change it, but do not know how to apply it, what use is it? I will still have a flat tire. Therefore, by having wisdom we can ensure that what we know will be put to good use.
No one is born wise, just as no one is born with great knowledge. So how do you receive it? In Proverbs 2:2-4 it tells you that if you:
- “turn your ear to wisdom”
- “apply your heart to understanding”
- “call out for insight”
- “cry aloud for understanding”
- “look for it as silver”
- “search for it as hidden treasure”
You will then find the knowledge of God and receive wisdom. (Proverbs 2:5-6). What this is teaching you my friend, is if you desire wisdom, search for wisdom, acknowledge its value, and ask God for it, you will receive it!
As individuals, we are constantly learning. We learn even when we don’t mean to; sometimes, it occurs unconsciously– but wisdom is application. According to Merriam Webster, the word “application” derives from the verb “apply”. Since apply is a verb, it must be done. In order to use knowledge correctly, or to use it at all, it must be put into action. So even if knowledge and understanding are slightly unconscious, if you truly desire to obtain wisdom, you have to put forth effort to have it.