When Knowledge Surpasses Wisdom

“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding.” (Proverbs 3:13)

As I was growing up in Oklahoma I often heard the expression, “You’re getting too smart for your own good!”  Now sometimes that directive was aimed at someone else, but there were times when it was being spoken to me and hopefully I had the young wisdom then to heed the warning!

The fact is if all of us do not heed the warning, it can lead to many difficulties and problems we would really rather not face.  There are times in each of our lives when we seem to get ‘too smart for our own good’ aren’t there?

It is one thing to gain knowledge in whatever field of endeavor you might want to choose, but it is another thing entirely to use that knowledge recklessly or without care and caution.

We are living at a time when man’s knowledge of the universe and life lived is growing by leaps and bounds.  Advancement in medicine, treatment of various maladies, how things grow, how things work and how to use these advancements is amazing.  Enhancing man’s ability to see under the surface of the earth and below in the sea have helped mankind to discover more about ancient civilizations. Things God has known all along!

Yes, we are living in a wonderful age of discovery, but we are also living in an age when mankind is getting too smart for its own good. Ironically, mankind continues to devote a great deal of time and energy in figuring out how to store all this newfound knowledge.

T.S. Eliot wrote, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?  Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

As men have grown in knowledge, our common enemy has convinced them they no longer need God in their lives!  Arrogance and pride have replaced humility.  Just as the apostle Paul wrote by inspiration in Romans 1:22-23, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man,and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.”

“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.” —Kahil Gibran

Perhaps an oversimplification, but nonetheless true is this:  Knowledge is the accumulation of facts; Wisdom is the ability to use those facts in a responsible way and manner.”

We all need to assess where the emphasis in our lives really is.  Are we more interested in gaining knowledge of all sorts including biblical knowledge or in discovering how to use that knowledge in a sensible, respectable and giving-God-the-glory kind of way?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”  (Proverbs 1:7)

Bill Fairchild, Jr.

P.S. Wisdom will lead each of us to spend more times learning and applying what we read from God’s Word every day of our life!

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