We live in a time where we enjoy tremendous and unprecedented advances in knowledge. Not only do we have a great deal of knowledge about the world, but we apply this knowledge in ways that give us greater comfort, health, and security, than most people in the history of the world have experienced. But for all of our titanic knowledge, ours is an age deeply lacking in wisdom.
Wisdom is the transcendental virtue, the ability to discern what is true and good and beautiful. Knowledge tells us what can be done, but wisdom tells us what should be done. And great knowledge without great wisdom can be a very dangerous thing.
For the opposite of wisdom is folly, and the way of folly is the way of death. Folly cries out to those who pass by, tempting them with her offer; “But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm of the dead (Prov. 9:18, NIV). Increasing knowledge, without increasing wisdom, creates increasing opportunities for harm. The pursuit of wisdom is the pursuit of life. “The one who gets wisdom loves life” (Prov. 19:8).
But where can wisdom be found? We must start with God. God is the font of all wisdom. As the prophet Daniel declared, “wisdom and power are his…he knows what lies in darkness, and light dwells with him” (Dan. 2:20, 22). We must have regard for God if we wish to be wise; “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding (Prov. 9:10). So it is impossible to acquire wisdom without repentance. Idolatry is folly, and we cannot find wisdom without turning away from idols and towards the all-wise God.
With reverence and confidence, the wise man looks to God for wisdom. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you (Jas. 1:5). In prayer, we ask God to graciously give us wisdom from above. In devotion, we look to the Holy Bible, God’s written Word, and take His wisdom to heart.
Ultimately, the pursuit of wisdom centers on Christ. We are to know Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). Jesus Christ is the key to finding wisdom in this world of chaos and folly, light in the darkness, life eternal in the face of death. Christ “has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness, and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30).
Coming to Christ, giving ourselves to Him in faith, we return to a right relationship with God. In this relationship with our Creator, we gain understanding of our purpose and how to thrive in the cosmos He has made. Getting right with Him, we get to know what is right—what is true, beautiful, and good.