Nov 23

From Giving Thanks to Wisdom

What are you giving thanks for?

Giving Thanks IN Every Circumstance

Many people feel that they are going above and beyond the call of duty when they are thankful “IN” all the trials that they face. They refer to 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to “give thanks in all circumstances.” It requires a lot of effort for one to be thankful when they are not pleased with your present circumstances. But this is the will of God (as the verse states) and it is appropriate that we search for things to be thankful for even when surrounded by things that are unpleasant. But, is that enough?
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Mar 30

Judgment and Experience

An interesting quote about judgment and experience:

(attributed to either Will Rogers or Mark Twain.)

Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment

Good judgment comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgment

It sounds a bit like the new graduate seeking employment: Getting a job is the way to get experience but you need experience to get the job. (Equals frustration)

But I think I agree with the quote. What do you think?

  • Is this a true statement?
  • How does “good judgment” relate to wisdom?
  • Should we attempt to judge poorly so that we will attain good judgment?
Nov 07

Understanding in Development of Wisdom

The previous post stated that knowledge is the basic building block in the process of developing of wisdom. But knowing something does not mean than one comprehends the facts represented by that knowledge.

Understanding is the word describing that comprehension of facts. I have knowledge of some facts about the “Dyson Air Multiplier” device but I do not understand it. I read that it is related to the “airfoil” effect that causes an airplane to “lift” but I don’t understand that either! (For more about these concepts check out this link.) If someone DOES comprehend these facts, we would say that they UNDERSTAND the concept. (Click on the image to read more about “Bloom’s revised taxomony” and the order of thinking skills.)

But knowing the facts – even understanding them – still does not equate to wisdom. My dad (no formal education) used to describe some person as, “He has a lot of book learnin’ but he has no horse sense.” Dad knew that the accumulation of facts (knowledge or “book learnin’) and even understanding those facts does NOT mean that a person has wisdom (“horse sense” in my dad’s lingo.)

So what ELSE is needed in order to have wisdom? Leave a comment to tell us what YOU think.

Nov 05

Wisdom Process #2

In the last post, I listed several words (knowledge, understanding, sound judgment, discernment, counsel, insight) as being related to the concept of wisdom. But the question is… HOW?

It appears to me that the basic “building block” in the process of developing wisdom is knowledge. The definition of knowledge is still being debated. However, to establish some point of reference and enable the present discussion (of developing wisdom), I will offer my simple definition:

Knowledge – the accumulation of facts.

But even that simple definition is ambiguous. Who defines a “fact”? (See the philosophical debate at   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge#Defining_knowledge_.28philosophy.29.) Still, some things must be accepted if we are ever to move beyond the status quo.

Knowledge is what most schools teach. Teachers & textbooks provide the facts and students are expected to memorize them. A test is given to determine whether the child can repeat the facts as they were given.

What is missing in this scenario? Leave a comment and tell us what YOU think is needed to move from knowledge to wisdom?

Sep 22

The Wisdom Process

If the previous articles are correct (that wisdom is not instantly acquired) then there must be a PROCESS for acquiring wisdom. For the time being, let us deal with normal wisdom (earthly wisdom, James 3:13-18). Then later, we can differentiate Godly wisdom.

There are several related words that are involved in the process of acquiring wisdom. I would like to hear your ideas about how these words relate to each other:

Pr 2:6 For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

  • Knowledge
  • Understanding
Pr 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
  • Sound Judgment
  • Discernment

Other words that may also be involved:

  • Counsel
  • Insight

Leave a comment and tell us what you think about the process. I have given some starter questions but do not limit your responses to these – you may suggest other words, questions or ideas. Tell us…

  • Is there an ORDER (process) to the development of wisdom?
  • If wisdom is the primary thing (Pr 4:7), then which of these words/concepts PRECEDE wisdom?
  • Do any of the concepts build upon others? Is there a SEQUENCE to them?
  • Are any of these concepts REQUIRED in order for one to acquire wisdom? If so, which?
  • Do any of these words actually MEAN THE SAME as wisdom?
  • Are any of these concepts in OPPOSITION to the development of wisdom?.

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Sep 03

Wisdom of Solomon

Solomon was the wisest man

In the Bible, and in much of the secular world, Solomon is recognized as having possessed wisdom beyond that of any other man who ever lived. In 1 Chronicles 1:7 (NIV) God spoke to Solomon in a dream and said to him, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” When Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge (v.10) God was pleased and granted his request.

So, instantly, Solomon became the wisest and most knowledgeable man on the earth – NOT! In verse 12 God said, “therefore wisdom and knowledge will be given you.” Notice the FUTURE TENSE “will be given.”

Someone once said, “As long as there are tests, there will be prayer in schools.” How many kids (including me) have wasted their time and then prayed that God would give them instantaneous knowledge to pass a test? But knowledge is almost always acquired through experience and education (study).

Likewise, there is NO INSTANT WISDOM. God promised Solomon that he would acquire great knowledge and have the wisdom to use it. However, God did not specify the means by which Solomon would become wise. God also assured Solomon that He would give him “wealth, riches and honor” but these were not apparent when Solomon awoke from his dream either. Verse 14 says that “Solomon accumulated chariots and horses.” It is only reasonable that Solomon received all of the things God promised (including wisdom and knowledge) – over time and with some effort on Solomon’s part.

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Aug 31

Counsel or Wisdom

What is the difference between counsel & wisdom?

In the last post, I asked about the word, counsel. The word counsel is used for the advice that one person gives to another.

A related definition is that of an advocate. An advocate or  lawyer (AKA, counselor) gives (legal) advice and advocates for his or her client.

So, counsel (advice) is not what we normally call wisdom. However, it is what we generally ask of God when we are facing a difficult decision. We may pray, “God give me wisdom,” but what we really want is for God to give us advice about how we should decide a matter.

Still looking for a working definition for wisdom? It is coming soon. Keep reading…

Aug 26

No Wisdom Dust

No Pixie Dust

All of us want to have (& use) wisdom. Many Christians quote the Bible at James 1:5 and believe that God will just impart a special gift of wisdom. At that point, they assume that they will somehow become wise and will make the right decision about whatever they are debating.

But Godly Wisdom is not acquired by waiting until God sprinkles some “wisdom dust” on our head. A proper understanding of ANY Scripture requires that one consider the context – not just quote a single verse.

This website is all about resolving the conflicting ideas of how we acquire wisdom. Further, we intend to offer brief notes about learning from our experiences and the process of putting our knowledge into practice.

Check all the posts to get the entire story….