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
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