Human brain work metaphor made of rusty metal gearsWisdom.  Who doesn’t want to be wise?  Everyone wants wisdom, especially when there’s an important decision to be made.

So why is it wisdom sometimes eludes us?  We can all look back at decisions we made or paths we took and say, “That wasn’t very wise.”

Maybe it’s because we tend to think of wisdom as a natural, innate ability that you either haver or you don’t.

Most of us know someone we would consider wise, and we look at them as if they’re just naturally that way.  But is that true?  If wisdom is a natural ability some have and some don’t, how do you explain the person who made wise and careful decisions most of their life only to throw it all away later with some very unwise choices? How do you explain the person who nearly wrecked their life for years with poor choices, and then turned things around?

Wisdom is not a gift for a select few.  It’s available to all; young and old, rich or poor, privileged and underprivileged.  That’s because wisdom is not the same as education.  You can have little education and still be wise, just as you can also lots of education and still be unwise.

Wisdom is about more than what you know.  It’s about properly applying what you know.  Think of it this way:  knowledge + application = wisdom.  Since anyone can learn, and anyone can apply what they’ve learned, then anyone can be wise.   And even if your knowledge or your application is wrong, you can still learn from the outcome and become wiser.

So how can you pursue wisdom?

  • Look for it.  If you want wisdom, you have to look for it.  Go to people you consider to be wise and ask their opinions.  Ask the opinions of experts.  Read about people who have acted wisely.  If you’re a person of faith, pray and read Scripture.
  • Listen for it.  Listen to the people you consider wise.  Listen to how they make decisions, as well as how they learned from their mistakes.  Listen to their advice.
  • Lean into it.  Once you’ve gotten the knowledge you need, then put your shoulder to the wheel and apply what you’ve learned…even if it’s difficult.

There is no easy path to wisdom, but there is a path and that path is open to all.

If you would like to take this to another level…

Proverbs 8 and 9 speak about the availability and advantages of wisdom, but these proverbs add one provision to the pursuit of wisdom.  Prov. 9:10 says that the fear (reverence) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One results in understanding.  (Living Bible.)  If you’re going to take wisdom to another level, then you need to give God prominence in your life and include Him in your decisions and your search for wisdom.

Leave a comment and let us know one thing you’ve done that’s helped you improve your wisdom.

Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg

3 thoughts on “Wisdom”

  1. Admittedly I had to read this through a couple of times to get the full meaning of what you are saying. I think there is a lot of “seeking wisdom” from those we know really are not wise but will have the “easier” solution. If we seek advice and wisdom from those around us who have made wise decisions in the past and are living proof that thinking through decisions thoughtfully with the future in mind we are more likely to make the wise choice despite the difficulty. Sometimes the “wise” people make unwise decisions because no one is perfect.

    I read the Proverbs you mentioned. Proverbs 8:34 stuck with me. “Blessed is the man (woman) who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” I took this to mean that if we seek Him and His wisdom in the morning before our day really starts, we have a much better chance of making wise decisions from the source of all wisdom.

    • I agree. Starting your day that way sets the tone for the rest of the day and makes the on-going pursuit easier.


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