Friday, August 24, 2012

What is Wisdom?

Did you miss the intro to the wisdom series? Click here to catch up. :) 

SO... What is wisdom?

Let’s actually start with the opposite of wisdom… stupidity.

Stupidity is the act of being stupid.
Stupid means:
1.      lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull
2.      characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish; senseless
3.      tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless
4.      annoying or irritating

So in order to not be stupid, let’s spend some time talking about the better way… wisdom.

The American Heritage Dictionary says wisdom is:
  1. The ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting; insight.
  2. Common sense; good judgment
  3. The sum of learning through the ages; knowledge
  4. A wise outlook, plan, or course of action.

The Greek word used for wisdom is sophia and means:
*full of intelligence
*the varied knowledge of things human and divine, acquired by acuteness and experience, and summed up in maxims and proverbs
*the act of interpreting dreams and always giving the sagest advice
*skill in the management of affairs
*devout and proper prudence in interacting with men not disciples of Christ, skill and discretion in imparting Christian truth
*the knowledge and practice of the requisites for godly and upright living

Beth Moore says, "Wisdom is knowledge applied."

Charles Spurgeon writes:
"Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal, and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom."

John Piper writes, "Wisdom is hearing and doing the Word of God."

This summer I did the Bible study Becoming a Woman of Excellence by Cynthia Heald. It's a GREAT study and the week before I actually was to speak about wisdom our chapter in the study was on wisdom. I really liked the opening paragraph. Heald writes:

The word "wise" in Greek comes from sophos, which describes "one with moral insight and skill in the practical issues of life."  Larry Crabb defines wisdom as "belief that accepting God's way, no matter how painful, leads ultimately to joy." He defines foolishness as refusing to believe that "going our way, even though it genuinely relieves distress and feels good, leads ultimately to despair." The diction tells us that wisdom is "the power of judging rightly and following the soundest course o action based on knowledge, experience, and understanding.

My definition: Correctly applying knowledge.

I love that with God we can know what is right for every situation we face and DO the right thing. That is wisdom.

Tomorrow I will answer the question "Why should I get wisdom?" (As if living a life that isn't stupid isn't reason enough!!)

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