Knowledge vs. Wisdom

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7)

There’s a big difference between knowledge alone and knowledge with understanding (i.e., wisdom). 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. As I learned how to Obtain Knowledge, I began to better see how to live in wisdom. 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.

Years ago, I crashed and burned physically and mentally. 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. So, my husband and I made some tough choices to simplify and give me the time and space to focus on getting healthy.

Sources of Wisdom

So where does wisdom fall in all of this? Simplifying gave me the time and space I needed to not only get the knowledge necessary to heal but to also reflect on and apply that knowledge to my life. Through that process, wisdom began to grow, especially when it came from three significant sources.

  1. Wise counsel. 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. Wise counsel set me on the right path for healing. (Proverbs 13:10)
  2. Discernment. How did I know when advice I received was truly wisdom for my life? Discernment from God (James 1:5; 1 Corinthians 12:10; Acts 17:11). As we go to Him on a consistent basis and not just to put out fires, discernment for the purpose of wisdom increases in our lives.
  3. Fear of the Lord. Proverbs 1:7 tells us that wisdom begins with fearing God. I knew that being constantly sick, tired and irritable was not God’s will for my life. He wanted me to be healthy and strong. Respect for him and a desire to do his will simply because it was his will motivated me to continue growing in wisdom.

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 led to read the book of Isaiah. One portion of Isaiah is not only highlighted in my Bible but also has the date “Spring 2010” – the start of this journey – 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. God was telling 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. It was also the point that a passion for gaining knowledge and wisdom was sparked in my heart and mind, and it hasn’t stopped growing since.