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Have you considered all the planning and effort that goes into building a house? The first step is finding a suitable location for construction. You need an architect to draw up a set of blueprints. Then you need to find a general contractor to oversee the project. This involves a myriad of details such as getting the proper building materials, organizing sub-contractors, and scheduling inspections. We devote a tremendous amount of time and energy to building a house, but how much time and energy do we devote to building a life? Solomon gives us sage advice,

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)

If this pattern seems familiar, it is the same pattern that God used when He established the earth,

The LORD by wisdom founded the earth, by understanding He established the heavens. By His knowledge the deeps were broken up and the skies drip with dew. (Proverbs 3:19-20)

The following words – wisdom, understanding, and knowledge may appear synonymous, but there are some subtle differences. In the English language, knowledge often refers to the building blocks of facts and information that are usually gained either through education or experience. The word understanding describes the application of knowledge to a situation so as to gain comprehension. Wisdom may be considered an appropriate action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment. Wisdom refers to the capacity for sound judgement in matters pertaining to life and conduct. The maxim, “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad,”  illustrates the difference.

Jesus also pointed out the need for wisdom as he used the metaphor of a house to emphasize the need for a sure foundation,

Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)

Biblical wisdom may be considered as the application of knowledge in a way that honors God. This type of wisdom is not simply the accumulation of information, rather, it is the application of knowledge that encompasses the practical knowledge of how to live righteously before God. This may be in contrast to the wisdom of the world. The Apostle James described the characteristics of biblical wisdom,

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. (James 3:17)

Biblical wisdom incorporates humility and a healthy dose of dependence upon God. Wisdom is an essential quality of life for it can keep you from getting into situations where you need it.

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