Wisdom is knowledge applied

I’m getting ready for mid life, but I’m not sure when it is supposed to begin. Can I only know when mid life is when I reach the end of my life and halve the amount of years? Does it happen when I have the urge to buy something expensive yet relatively frivolous? Or perhaps mid life is the turning point between gaining knowledge and gaining wisdom? I don’t know, but generally speaking it seems like the first half of life is about learning stuff and making mistakes and the second half is about applying what we’ve learnt. Why is it that we look at a dignified grey haired man and call him wise? It could be either because he has had many years in which to make mistakes, and then many years to convert those mistakes into wisdom. It could simply be that for a man to get to old age and cheated death for so long thus must have wisdom to have survived!

James 3:13-18 speaks of two kinds of wisdom. The first is the wisdom that is earthly,

14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

and the second is wisdom that which comes from heaven

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

The knowledge in the first come from the world, and seeks to serve that which is most important in the world – “Me” The knowledge in the second comes from heaven and seeks to serve that which is most important in the kingdom of heaven – “God”.

If wisdom is knowledge applied then that which we should seek first is the knowledge of God. In the second half of my life I pray that I will not stop yearning for knowledge of God, because I like the idea of being the wise old man of God later in life, not for my glory but for His.


2 thoughts on “Wisdom is knowledge applied

  1. Thanks Lachlan, I do think it’s in the 3rd quarter of life that some of that learnt wisdom comes, and we start to show it, I think we keep on gathering Godly wisdom until full term. Each day as I read from the book of wisdom, it’s like a new and fresh instruction I find, even though I’ve read that same chapter a dozen times throughout my life and I’m still reading it afresh, gaining more for the new day. Oh! What a wonderful master we have.

  2. Thanks Lachlan. I find it interesting that this word about the attainment of wisdom follows warnings about our tongue! An appropriate order I would think!

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