Wisdom Wednesday: Wisdom Is As Wisdom Does

"Knowledge isn't power until it is applied."  —Dale Carnegie

“Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.” —Dale Carnegie

Have you ever known someone who was ‘book smart’ but lacked common sense or thought they were an expert simply because they had the knowledge, and maybe even the diploma, and yet lacked wisdom and experience? There is more to learning than getting a classic education. We can have knowledge without wisdom, but we cannot have wisdom without knowledge.

“Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass.” —Japanese proverb

“Knowledge is knowing the truth; wisdom is knowing what to do with it. Knowledge is theoretical; wisdom is practical. Knowledge fills your mind; wisdom guides your life.” —Mark Driscoll in Hard Life, Good God

The Hebrew word for wisdom is chokmah and is related to a root word meaning “skill”.  A person with wisdom has the ability to discern between good and bad, right and wrong, and can rightly apply knowledge that has been obtained.  In practical terms it means “skill at living life”.

Every prudent man worketh with knowledge: but a fool flaunteth his folly.”  —Proverbs 13:16 ASV

“The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” —Proverbs 15:2

If wisdom is the right application of knowledge, then knowledge without application must be foolishness. And even more foolish still is to have the knowledge available but to never take advantage of it.

“Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.” —Ecclesiastes 7:12 NIV

“Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.” —Dale Carnegie

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” —James 4:17

“Wisdom is as wisdom does.” —Dave Bruskas in his sermon Jesus’ Wisdom, Your Wisdom

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” —Miles Kington


If you liked this, you might also like… Knowing vs. Knowing

About Rene Yoshi

Just a transplanted Okinawan-French Southern girl with a wee bit o' Irish, sharing photography and what I'm learning about spiritual things, including putting off legalism and religious traditions, and embracing God's matchless love, tender mercy, and amazing grace! View all posts by Rene Yoshi

20 responses to “Wisdom Wednesday: Wisdom Is As Wisdom Does

  • Tienny

    Rene, thank you. I have updated and replied about the “back pose” photograph. Do you receive my reply? 🙂 Please see my updated photographs. Thank you


  • Randell Bell

    I’ve always believed that knowledge plus experience equals wisdom, but there are two kinds of wisdom, worldly wisdom and godly wisdom. James 3: 13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.15 This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. If I want to walk in this world after the manner of this world then worldly wisdom will suit me just fine, but if I want to walk after God’s wisdom then the Bible says that worldly wisdom is foolishness to God. 1Cor.3: 18 Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seems to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He takes the wise in their own craftiness. To live a life like Jesus lived we have to live by the wisdom He had, the wisdom he got from God’s Word. Bible knowledge without experience is only half of wisdom, (the why) just as experience without knowledge is half of wisdom, (the how). You need both haves to make a whole. Two types of wisdom, one will last a lifetime, while the other will last an eternity. Sorry if I got too preachy. Good WW Rene.

    • Rene Yoshi

      [chuckle] Not at all, Randell. I appreciate your addition to the subject and conversation. I think I understand your point as far as worldly wisdom being suitable if a person wants to walk after the manner of this world, although it seems through observation that the description of worldly wisdom as containing envy, striving and confusion, is an accurate one, and therefore, is ultimately not truly ‘suitable’ for anyone. For example, worldly wisdom might lead people to have a dog-eat-dog mentality. It might seem like a wise choice if a person wants to get ahead, but at some point, someone with the same ‘wisdom’ will ‘eat’ them. So another observation that has been coming to mind lately is how societies have benefited from true Christianity. Does that make sense?

      • Randell Bell

        yes from true Christianity, although many do not see or understand that, 🙂

      • Rene Yoshi

        Yes, because not everyone who has called themselves “Christian” or ‘carried the banner of Christianity’ has acted Christ-like nor followed His principles, and sometimes in our religious zeal or because of our sin nature, we, too, can at times act un-Christianly. :/ But when people take the time and effort to study, history reveals that true Christianity has been a catalyst for peace, prosperity and advancements in technology.

  • Susan Irene Fox

    Oh, Rene, the Japanese proverb made me laugh. I know lots of people with “book smarts” who seem to embody none of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Our wisdom comes from Him. Love and knowledge is the way to apply it. Great post.

  • gwennonr

    Rene, this was really, really good: another excellent job! Thank you for sharing it. I look forward to Wisdom Wednesday every week. That last quote was especially fun and funny. Keep up the good work!



  • A Gracious Life

    There are aspects in my life where sometimes, I’m more of “the books.” And I am aware that I need the experience.

  • Southern Sea Muse

    These are absolutely fabulous quotes! I especially love the Japanese one about wisdom without knowledge. What a great collection!

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