What is Wisdom?

By Brent M. Jones


How does experience, knowledge, and good judgement bring about wisdom?  Are there classes in school that explain how to apply experience, judgement and knowledge and result in having wisdom? Is it just lifelong attempt to find the answers that result in wisdom: if that is true then how much time does it take? 

The answer to these questions requires us to think about what wisdom is. It is not the product of only schooling, or just gaining knowledge, or even the lifelong "attempt to acquire" it. The sincere attempt to acquire it may be part of what wisdom is, but that effort is never completed.

Reading, classes, and study can bring about knowledge and we can gain experience and understanding as we try to use what we have learned.  How we feel about knowledge is part of what understanding is. Those feelings are mostly the result of the consequences we learn through experience applying the knowledge.

A well-known quote, “Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”, implies that sincerity added to knowledge is of more value. Someone must truly believe that the knowledge desired is of value. Then they need to believe that it applies to the situation.

Wisdom is likely not a constant because our own conclusions about our experiences change over time. Wisdom is added to with changes in point of view.

The events of our own life, when examined years later, can lead us to making changes in our point of view and even to reinventing ourselves. What wisdom is now likely will be different when looked back on.

The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about wisdom and knowledge. It suggests that they both come from God. This quote seems to sum it up very well: Wisdom is the principal thing: therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)