Searching for Truth: Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding

About two weeks ago, I began a daily study of the Biblical book of Proverbs. I have often heard about the wisdom it contains and have ready it in the past. But I figured  a detailed study would be a good way to kick off 2018.

The Bible often emphasizes wisdom as a prerequisite for living a meaningful life. As I have read proverbs, I was struck by its sharp focus on knowledge, wisdom, and understanding. It’s fair to say those are core themes of each of the 31 chapters of Proverbs. Multiple scenarios are used to describe what is unwise or wise, how wise people behave, the fruits of knowledge and understanding etc

On the second day, I found myself thinking… how can one define knowledge, wisdom, and understanding? And how are they related?

As I reviewed Proverbs 1 and 2, and googled in earnest, I realized (yes, that’s probably the best way to put it) these definitions…

KNOWLEDGE is to to know things i.e. what is good, what is bad, what is right. It is to be aware of the properties of things, their usage purposes, meaning, and implications.

WISDOM is to have the conviction to make the right or proper choices, based on knowledge.

UNDERSTANDING is the ability to comprehend the whole. That is, the meaning, purpose, and implications of: God’s will or desires, the knowledge we are given in accordance with His will, and the choices we make based on knowledge or lack of it, and the impacts that all the aforementioned have on our lives, the lives of others, and God’s purposes for us.

I find those definitions quite useful, as I continue to read Proverbs, and I hope you do too, even if you aren’t reading Proverbs or the Bible just yet.

To wrap this up, I leave you with two passages from 2nd Chapter of Proverbs. God bless you!

Proverbs 2: 1-6:  

My son, if you accept my words
    and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
    and applying your heart to understanding—
indeed, if you call out for insight
    and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
    and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
    and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
    from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Proverbs 2: 10

For wisdom will enter your heart,
    and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.


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