Ray Waldo is a retired pastor with a passion for sharing knowledge, understanding and (if possible), wisdom with everyone he meets. Prior to his retirement, Ray served as a local pastor and teacher to five different churches in two states. He also served as a short-term missionary, teacher, and crusade speaker to groups in Mexico, Kenya, Uganda & the Democratic Republic of Congo (while Congo was still in conflict).
Ray is also a widely recognized teacher, writer and public speaker. He was the top-billed speaker to groups of over 10,000 people when he visited Africa. He is currently writing two books (online) that he expects to be published within the next two years.
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? Continue reading →
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.
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 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?
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.
Pr 3:21 My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight;
Other words that may also be involved:
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?.
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.
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…
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.