Knowledge Versus Wisdom
By Rev. Frances Montgomery, NST
By Rev. Frances Montgomery, NST
Have you ever thought about the difference between knowledge and wisdom? They are very different qualities. One gains knowledge through reading, listening, studying, observing. Knowledge is taught in schools – or at least used to be taught in schools!
Wisdom is the ability to understand and put to good use the knowledge one has obtained.
According to the definitions: Knowledge is gathered from learning, education; while most say that wisdom is gathered from day-to-day experiences and is a state of being wise. Knowledge is merely having clarity of facts and truths, while wisdom is the practical ability to make consistently better decisions in life.
You can read and study, acquiring many facts on any subject that interests you. You can spout formulas, numeric tables, theories, on whatever topic, however if you do not have the understanding to use that information in a practical manner in your everyday life, the acquired facts are useless.
You just have a head full of stuff! It is only when you think things through and can put them into perspective with practical use that the learning becomes useful wisdom in your life. Analyzing problems will frequently bring new ideas and outlooks. That is how a scientist or inventor evolves new solutions in their craft.
And so it is with religion! Reading the Bible or any other sacred literature and quoting it verbatim - or word for word - means nothing if you do not understand the deeper meaning in the writing. It takes pondering the words and their actual message as it applies in your life that will assist you in gaining wisdom. Many times, as you progress through the experiences life brings, along with the joy or pain associated with the life lessons comes a deeper understanding and possibly a totally different perspective than the meaning you first gleaned from a passage. In this way you grow your soul’s understanding of life lessons and won’t have to repeat and relive the same situations with different names and faces. Sometimes you will see that your response only made the situation more difficult. We need to learn to withhold judgement of others, allowing them to learn from their own situations. We also learn to assist where we can but not do for others what they can and should be doing for themselves. That is robbing them of their learning experience! We cannot solve every problem for everyone. That isn’t our business. When this involves your children or family members, close friends, it is difficult to stand by and watch things play out. Sometimes the more you attempt to point out your reasoning to someone the more they become defensive of their decisions, charging ahead with their actions.
That is also where meditation and quiet time allows thoughts to roll around in your head so that spirit steps in, making things clearer. That is when you find those AHA! moments and suddenly discover how what you read or observed applies to you and this or that situation.
Wisdom is also why, as we grow forward, we handle things differently, usually more kindly and with more love toward others. We learn we are not the center of the universe. We attempt to be more considerate of others. We grow spiritually and expand our auras through wisdom. Wisdom is warm and caring. Knowledge can be just cold facts!
We have all known and loved people who innately seem to know when to talk and when to simply listen while we vent allowing us to talk through our own problems. Those people have and are applying wisdom, often gently asking a question here or there which prompts us to explore more deeply the situation and finding for ourselves our own responses and mistakes. This talent, rare to find in the day of know it all talking heads who are telling us what to think, is to be cherished when we find it.
Strive to become wise and loving and you will discover life becomes easier, less stressful, and deeper in meaning both for yourself and for those around you.
May Spirit lead you to understanding and wisdom.