Information is about facts, and knowledge is about fitting related facts together. But wisdom is about using knowledge well. What now afflicts most of the culture, and even the church is that have vast storehouses of information and knowledge, but very little wisdom.
Never before in human history has there been so much knowledge so widely spread among the population. For anyone with an internet connection, access to additional information is essentially limitless. In the church, Christians have never had greater access to information about the Bible and sound theology. Yet at the same time, in both the church and the world, wisdom is in decline. We take great pride in our accumulated knowledge, and our hard drives are packed with data. But in some of the most important areas of life, such as raising children, maintaining healthy relationships, and handling finances responsibly, a great many of us just don’t know what to do.
When it comes to crucial areas—words, work, wealth, and relationships—people make a lot of short-sighted, self-centered decisions. It’s true that much of the current so-called knowledge pertaining to these areas is actually very bad advice, but while having the right knowledge is vital, it is not sufficient in itself. Accurate knowledge alone does not translate into better decisions or wiser living.
Another factor that can make the pursuit and practice of wisdom challenging is the sheer pace of daily life. The options available to us in the modern world can be so diverse and so distracting that we forget to pay close attention to the beauty, simplicity, and power of the Word of God and what it teaches us. So much of modern life seems to be about adding—adding possessions, adding relationships, adding efficiency, adding income, adding prestige, adding power, adding health, adding leisure. But at the heart of godly wisdom is an ability not to become distracted from those things that are most important in life, and never to set them aside, even as we adapt to certain legitimate changes in society. For amidst all the noise, the data, the trends, the traffic, the hurry, the turmoil, and the bad advice, the Bible remains our sole reliable source of unchanging, timeless wisdom.
God’s wisdom flows through the entire Bible. But as we focus on the unique presentation of wisdom found in Proverbs, we will find three strands of teaching that weave together. We will learn that wisdom is supremely valuable. We will learn that our only real choices in life are between wisdom and folly. And best of all, we will learn wisdom itself.
Excerpted from A Proverbs Driven Life by Anthony Selvaggio.