“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).
This is the time when school starts and there is a focus on learning. Too often, especially in public education, learning is the accumulation of knowledge (i. e. the fact or condition of knowing things) that is, knowledge of the things of this world. We know that knowledge can be used for good or evil. Today, the world is replete with the knowledge of evil. So, learning knowledge, in itself, is not enough for our children (or adults). Proverbs 4:7 admonishes us to get “wisdom” and “understanding” in addition to knowledge.
Understanding can be defined as the “knowledge of the holy” (Proverbs 9:7), which is a knowledge of the Character of God. This knowledge can only come by the word of God, and the Holy Spirit. The more one learns about the word of God, the more one understands the Character of God, and His plans, precepts, and principles for our life.
Wisdom can be defined as using knowledge according to the precepts, and principles of the word of God and apply it to our life or daily living.
“One of a Christian’s main objectives is to GET WISDOM! Wisdom is the perfection of common sense. It is to know one’s self, one’s God, one’s neighbor, and properly be able to relate to each. Wisdom is the ability to tap God’s mind. Wisdom is seeing things from God’s viewpoint. Without wisdom, your effectiveness for God will not be great. You will incur “reproofs of life” unnecessarily. (See Proverbs 1) Many trials people face are self-inflicted. Every Christian needs wisdom. We need it in soul winning, in business, in overcoming temptations, in friendships, in making decisions, and in child-rearing.” (Pastor Art Kohl, Faith Baptist Church, Eden, NY)
Wisdom and understanding cannot be obtained in public education; or even in “private” or “Christian” education where the word of God is not taught and adhered to. And, of course, even where the word is taught, whether in the home, the church, or in school, unless the student is truly born-again, he or she will not comprehend it. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:12-14).
Remember Jesus’ words, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again” (John 3:6-7). And Peter’s, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever” (1 Peter 1:23).
Roy Delia is pastor of the New Hope Baptist Church, Ontario. He can be reached in care of The Argus Observer, 1160 S.W. Fourth St., Ontario, OR 97914. The Argus Observer weekly faith column features a rotation of writers from many different faiths and perspectives.