Knowledge vs. Wisdom From A Biblical Perspective

Most of us know the difference between knowledge and wisdom but let me briefly give somewhat of a definition: Knowledge is obtaining information from education or studying data that provides answers to many questions.  It is used in making decisions and judgments.  Wisdom is sort of a sixth sense or special insight that comes from one’s previous experiences or from God.  I like to think that what wisdom I have is a result of Biblical study and is God-given.  That doesn’t mean all of my decisions and judgments are correct but they are made with the right attitude and moral motives.

I have had Christians tell me that they have accumulated a lot of knowledge through college and education but they feel lacking in wisdom.  I believe wisdom is realizing that God has given us a tremendous advantage as follows:

  • Hebrews 4:5 – The Holy Spirit was given to testify that Christ came to give us a New Covenant and told us God would put His laws in our hearts and write them on our minds and our sins and lawless acts would be remembered no more.
  • Luke 11:13 – God will give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him.
  • Hebrews 2:4 – The Holy Spirit will give us signs, wonders, various miracles and gifts.  If we have seriously surrendered our lives to Christ the Holy Spirit will make us aware that He is with us.
  • II Timothy 1:13 & 14 – The Holy Spirit will help you live a holy life by giving you faith and love in Christ Jesus.
  • Luke 12:12 – The Holy Spirit will tell us what to say.
  • Acts 1:8 – We shall receive power from the Holy Spirit.
  • John 14:26 – The counselor, the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and will remind us of what Jesus taught.
  • Acts 13:12 – The Holy Spirit will speak to our spirit and give us directions and where to go.
  • Acts 20:23 – The Holy Spirit will warn us of potential problems.
  • Galatians 5:22 & 23 – The Holy Spirit will give us joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

If a believer in Christ, who has received the Holy Spirit, wouldn’t one have the wisdom to make better decisions and judgments?  What if a Christian knows they have received the Holy Spirit yet fail to feel they have received the gifts of the Spirit or the wisdom that the Holy Spirit gives us?

Often two problems exist: they feel unworthy that God loves them and the Holy Spirit is there to help or they have a problem overcoming their carnal, worldly nature who wants to do things the world’s way rather than God’s way.  Thus, blocking the gifts of the Spirit as found in Galatians 5:22 which is a basis for obtaining true wisdom.

When a person lives the life of the Spirit, an individual is truly different.  The fruit as described above is an outward expression of Christ living inside that person. God can be everywhere.  Yes, He can be in your life with you every day as the Holy Spirit.  Everyone having the Holy Spirit can and should receive these fruits that God can give to us.  The fruits of the Spirit don’t seem to grow adequately unless we are willing to die out to our self-centered worldly nature. That means surrendering our negative pride.  The pride that says I don’t need any help I can do it on my own. This is difficult for many people as repenting or changing life’s direction can be a struggle also.  Old habits are often difficult to break.  Changing one’s previous worldly comfort zone is like dieting to an obese person.  Dying out to our negative pride and our old nature is not easy and requires surrendering that people with strong, controlling personality find difficult to give up and give in to living by Christ’s ways.

It may start with a trust factor in not believing God really has a purpose or plan for them.  To fulfill that purpose usually requires a change in thinking, a renewing of one’s mind that is open to new Christian concepts.  A person unwilling to give up their pride and change direction may block the working of the Holy Spirit.  Christ will allow a believer moral agency to make their own choices and usually will not overrule that decision. Choices we make without the Holy Spirit’s guidance may not come from heavenly wisdom but from one’s knowledge.

I believe learning to love God and others is fundamental to obtaining heavenly wisdom.  Unconditional love only comes from God’s example and the Holy Spirit.  The Bible says we must have no hate in our heart or an unwillingness to forgive others.  Otherwise, a believer blocks the Holy Spirit from working in their life.  You may have more knowledge than most genius but if there is hate and unforgiveness in your heart you will lack heavenly wisdom according to Scripture.

Joy occurs when we have confidence in our relationship with Christ and we are living to please Him as difficult as that might be.  We can’t make continual joy happen. It comes from our obedience to Christ and is brought by the Holy Spirit.  Joy emphasizes our witness as Christians making us stronger and joy produces energy.

Continual peace comes only from God’s assurances and promises.  Otherwise peace usually is temporarily.  Once we learn to love God and others and have the right heart, (no hate or unforgiveness) peace results.  Peace knows nothing can separate us from the love of God.  (Romans 8:38 & 39)

We must have patience with others, which means we don’t have to get over a lack of patience waiting in line.  Love is patient and kind.  Selfishness normally causes confrontations.  Ask if we want God to be patient with us?

It is hard for many to give up their negative pride and self-control.  We must be willing to submit all aspects of life to God daily.  That may mean prior to making any decision or judgment one might ask the Holy Spirit:  “Is this what I must say or do?”  That doesn’t mean we fall to our knees and pray.  It may simply be taking time to question the consequence of what we decide to do.  It is recognizing the Holy Spirit and asking for wisdom and direction.

As the fruits of the Spirit increase, you will be able to acknowledge a heavenly wisdom that will make life joyful and peaceful. Once you have joy and peace in your heart, you will find being kind, gentle and faithful resulting.   That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t continue getting as much knowledge as we can.  Success is a result, most times, from proper preparation.   We need both!

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  1. samuel1018

     /  December 10, 2012

    Wisdom and Knowledge:
    I think Solomon has a concise aspect and perspective on both, I think we would be guilty of adding and subtracting from the Word, if we just take proverbs and read one a day, that will cover all the exposition and commentary, especially with The Holy Spirit teaching us every jot and tittle, we no man to teach us, The Holy Spirit is exact every time, He never misses, especially since He knows what we need every time we read and pray.

    Jesus said, THINK NOT, what you will say, for The Holy Spirit will give you the exact wisdom and knowledge for that exact circumstance.
    For example, I was very young and volunteering as a chaplain, I sat outside the prison and prayed, I asked Jesus, saying I am very inexperienced what should do, a study or just preach and teach, and The Holy Spirit said, ” I will put the questions in there heart and I will put the answers in your heart, it’s on auto pilot, He said just relax and see what I can do, My yoke is easy, and my burden is light, meaning I will do all the work you just listen and repeat what I give you”. So The Holy Spirit never let me down.
    The Holy Spirit always was in charge, never had to worry, just cast all my cares on Him.

  2. You can certainly see your enthusiasm within the work you write.

    The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. All the time follow your heart.

  3. “Wisdom requires the up most ability to understand. To know a thing is to understand a thing. The Spirit of Wisdom created Knowledge.” Mvs

  4. This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I have found something that helped me.
    Thanks a lot!

  5. I agree that this post is relevant and well written. I have just completed a great devotional where I dealt with my negative pride, selfishness and forgiveness. I believe that God is leading me to study wisdom and this post really put things into perspective for me. Thanks!


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