Wisdom: Why We Need It

1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

6 To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.

-Proverbs 1:1-6

What is wisdom?

Today, we might say a person has insight or “smarts” when we try to describe how someone appears to be extremely knowledgeable about something.

We know that wisdom is not just education; anybody can remember facts. But, a person who has wisdom as an extra level of insight and intuition. It is almost an uncanny sixth sense.

So, what is wisdom?

Someone once stated that wisdom can be defined as “know how.” In other words, a wise person is one who knows how to use the knowledge he has gained for his benefit and the benefit of others. Wisdom — having it and using it — is very beneficial. And the Word of God tells us that we will be better off if we have it.

Everyone wants wisdom (or at least everyone should desire wisdom). Here are three reasons why from the first chapter of Proverbs: 

1. We live in a twisted world. We only need to watch or read the news to know this. There are twisted people in this world who have evil intentions and who will lie, connive, and deceive to have their own way and use us to aid them in having their own way if they can. That is why Solomon says that part of his reasoning for writing Proverbs is in order to give “subtilty to the simple.”

Subtlety is not a bad thing. A subtle person is one who is cautious, cunning, and acutely aware of what is going on around him. A subtle person has the ability to detect when someone is up to no good and graciously make an exit before being roped in to doing something that he knows is wrong.

Subtlety is wisdom, and we need it to survive in this twisted world.

2. We are not as wise as we think we are. This is the second reason why we need wisdom. Wisdom helps us realize that we are not as wise as we think we are, thus allowing us to see our need for education.  In fact, Proverbs 1:5 lets us know that the man who realizes that he needs wisdom is already quite wise!

3. We don’t have all the answers. Life is filled with many questions that have no textbook answers. How do we handle these kinds of situations? We can only handle them with wisdom.Someone once said, “Wisdom is the ability to see life as God sees it and then respond as He would.”

Often, we will find throughout life that our own reasoning will fail us and we will see that the only way to answer a question or react to a situation is to get the appropriate response directly from God.

Can you think of any other reasons why we need wisdom?