How to… Develop Wisdom

As stated in How to… Be Victorious, there’s a big difference between knowledge alone and knowledge with understanding (Proverbs 4:7). But what exactly is that difference, and how do we move from having knowledge to living with wisdom?

In my health journey, I obtained a lot of knowledge from a lot of different sources. This knowledge led to several lessons, which I detail in How to… Obtain Knowledge, that I still use today as I struggle through to victory in other areas of my life.

Yet, I remain aware of the fact that knowledge means very little without application that demonstrates understanding and that also shows the growth of wisdom.

When I was very sick over 2 ½ years ago, I crashed. For me, this meant that I could not handle my life as it was at the time, and something had to give. I was simply physically and mentally spent and exhausted. My body gave up on me. We had also just adopted our youngest son, and this took an added toll on me mentally and spiritually. He needed things from me that I just didn’t have to give.

So, my husband and I made some tough choices, the first of which was me quitting my job. Not an easy decision considering the extra money it brought in and that it was offering even more… a move from ¾ to full time. We did this so I could focus on getting healthy.

My two top priorities then became my own physical health and the mental health of our new son, who also had a great deal of healing of his own to do.

So where does wisdom fall in all of this? The following points detail the growth of wisdom during this time in my life, aspects which continue growing still today.

  1. Wisdom sometimes comes through wise counsel (Proverbs 13:10). Not all the advice I received was wise even though it came from knowledgeable sources. Several doctors simply got the diagnosis wrong, but one godly source got it right and gave me a tremendous amount of wisdom that led to the health I now experience today.
  2. Discernment plays a huge role in going from knowledge to wisdom. How did I know when advice I received was truly wisdom for my life? Discernment. Discernment comes from God (James 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:10) and from His Word (Acts 17:11) as we go to Him on a consistent basis and not just to put out fires.
  3. Fear of the Lord can be a tremendous motivation. Proverbs 1:7 tells us that wisdom begins with fearing God. I knew that being constantly sick, tired and irritable was not only not God’s will, but it also took me out of following His will in almost all other areas of my life. Being healthy and strong to be able to please and serve Him to the best of my ability pushed me toward healing

Over time and through small revelations that added up to make a big difference, the Holy Spirit led me to a place of understanding and wisdom with regard to healing in my life. About the time that journey began, I was lead to read the book of Isaiah. One portion of Isaiah is not only highlighted but also has the date “Spring 2010” next to it.

“But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert!” (Isaiah 43:18-19)

Every time I read these verses, their truth resonates in my spirit. I felt and still feel like God was giving me wisdom by saying to me, “I will show you the way through. I will refresh you along the way.” That was my turning point. That was the place where I knew I was on the right track for healing.

DISCUSSION:  What advice can you add regarding obtaining wisdom?

Related Posts:

A Father’s Wise Advice

Overwhelmed with God

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Be determined. Pursue simplicity. Find balance. Be curious. Be deliberate. Be intentional. Age gracefully. Make the most of every opportunity.


September 12, 2012 at 11:48 am

I am struggling with this thought. I am thinking maybe there are two branches of wisdom. One branch would be the application of knowledge about a field of learning and the second would be the application of knowledge about how to respond and interact with people. I think I would want to pursue the second branch the most and pursue needed wisdom in a particular area where I had a need. Knowledge is not wisdom as you say. Wisdom is the proper application of knowledge. In Acts 4 where they could tell that Peter and John were different their explanation was that they had spent time with Jesus. That changes us too; we can become wise by spending time with Jesus. Just as you say "as we go to him on a consistent basis". We can also obtain wisdom by spending time with and observing those who are wise. I think we can read other good works outside the Bible and gain wisdom as well. Finally trial and error is a tough way to get wisdom but sometimes that works too.

    September 12, 2012 at 12:12 pm

    Terrific points, Mark. You know, the only true solution I have ever found to any struggle in my life has been more of Jesus. That's the only one that has ever really worked. Wisdom is certainly a huge topic and one that cannot be sufficiently covered in less that 700 words or maybe not at all. My hope is that I portrayed the growth of wisdom in my life through this particular struggle. True wisdom is endless, and we are never done obtaining it. I am just so glad that God is patiently teaching me more and more wisdom day by day.

September 12, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I know this is obvious, but for me the best source is the Bible – even in the last couple days God is giving me huge relief from my blogging woes through some new Scripture passages.

September 18, 2012 at 8:36 pm

I think deep study of the word can give you wisdom – as well as reading the words of wise saints (that's a lot like counsel in a way). I can't tell you how many times listening to a sermon on my iPod has given me such insight into things I go through.

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