Wisdom – The combination of experience and knowledge with the ability to apply them judiciously ; sound judgment, prudence, practical sense.
Everyone in the world wants to be wise, because the one who possesses wisdom rules the world. Is that true? The answer would have to be yes and no. As we gain wisdom our ability to lead others is strengthened. The way to gain wisdom is to realize what you do not know. When that attitude descends upon us, we begin to desire and seek the opinions and knowledge of others and, more importantly, we realize what we do not know. This leads us to the path of wisdom in this life. Let us look at some ways we can begin the wisdom journey.
“Avoid company where it is not profitable or necessary, and in those occasions, speak little, and last. Silence is wisdom where speaking is folly, and always safe.” Those are the words of William Penn, the namesake and founder of the state of Pennsylvania. Let us focus on the concept of speaking little and last. The world is full of people who want to be heard but lacks in those who want to listen. If you find yourself frustrated that you do not get to speak first and loudest, then you may need this wisdom lesson. Pause, listen with openness and respect to those around you, and then speak after you have digested what has been said.
Learn the value of doubt. We can safely say that the one who never doubts himself is lacking in wisdom. No one is always right or knows all. Doubt can be a great blessing, because it leads to greater learning and opens new vistas of life. It can be very isolating and miserable to always think that you have arrived at the right conclusions and taken the right action. Doubt causes us to examine our motives and actions. This process builds wisdom.
The next building block is the virtue of silence. Our wisdom is evaluated by our ability to listen at peace. True silence is a strength. We are not truly silent when we do not speak but are boiling with frustration and anger. Wise people learn the discipline of silence by knowing the art of listening. Silence is an important part of wisdom.
Wisdom is a combination of knowledge and experience. That leads me to believe that the wise person seeks all the knowledge and experience that they can possibly absorb. Let us take advantage of any opportunity to learn a new fact or understand a new concept. If we are vivacious readers and learn of things that are not of immediate use, then we are equipped for whatever life throws at us. Experience is an important part of wisdom. The more we try to use our knowledge, the more it is tested. This testing teaches us that we all know far less that we think. Those tests bring wisdom.
The writer of Proverbs says that wisdom will guard us. Wisdom is the virtue that guards us from foolish and quick action. Wisdom allows us to know when to be silent and when to speak. This same wisdom allows us to carry on in time of distress and failure. Wisdom imparts to us the value of ourselves in a realistic way. We are never as great or as bad as our minds tell us. Every one of God’s creatures needs a gatekeeper, and wisdom is the one that guides, builds and protects us.
Doubt is the origin of wisdom.
~~~Augustine of Hippo
The truest wisdom is a resolute determination.
Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.
Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.
Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.
A fool is known by his speech; and a wise man by silence.
The fool wonders, the wise man asks.
Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.
Where there is shouting, there is no true knowledge.
~~~Leonardo da Vinci
Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
There is only a finger’s difference between a wise man and a fool.
Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.
~~~ Kahlil Gibran
and understanding in length of days?
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever else you get, get insight.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace;
but wisdom is with the humble.
The integrity of the upright guides them,
but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them.
By loyalty and faithfulness iniquity is atoned for,
and by the fear of the Lord one avoids evil.
To get wisdom is to love oneself;
to keep understanding is to prosper.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.
For to the one who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a chasing after wind.
For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.
~~~1 Corinthians 1:25
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.
A fool gives full vent to anger,
but the wise quietly holds it back.
Happy are those who find wisdom,
and those who get understanding,
for her income is better than silver,
and her revenue better than gold.
Lord, This day I seek lady wisdom. She can lead me to the path that will bring joy and blessing in my life. I confess that I have often forsaken wisdom for the foolishness that plagues me. With your help I can focus on what is necessary to lead a life that develops wisdom each day. Give me enough doubt and enough hunger for knowledge to become wiser this very day.