I’d like to be smarter than I am. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a relatively smart guy. I better be since I put a lot of time and effort and money into getting a high school diploma, an AA Degree, a BA Degree, a Masters Degree, and a Doctorate. Though I must admit that I never graduated Magna Cum Laude or Summa Cum Laude. I was in the “Laude, thank God I passed!” group.
But I’m not talking about book smarts here – all the knowledge that we’ve crammed into our heads from elementary school on. There’s a place for that kind of knowledge, but I’m talking about the kind of smarts that takes that knowledge to a whole new level.
King Solomon talked about this kind of smarts when he said, “How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16)
Wisdom and understanding are a huge step beyond knowledge. And according to Solomon, they are worth more than silver and gold. Seriously?
I know by experience that it’s true. In fact, I repeated the same bad experience six times! This photo is proof that even though I had knowledge, I was very lacking in wisdom and understanding.
From the day I turned 16 and started driving, I knew my car needed gas to run. And I knew how to read the little gauge on the dashboard that told me when the gas tank was almost empty. And Bernice had reminded me numerous times about the benefits of getting gas before the little pointer on the gas gauge got down below zero. I even worked at a gas station for a while when I was in high school!
But for a lot of years, that knowledge about cars and gas didn’t translate into wisdom or understanding. I kept living life on the edge and trying to get every last bit of gas out of the tank before I took the time to get more. So I often found myself running out of gas and walking to a gas station and buying a little red can to put gas in and then walking back to my car. At least six times. Actually more, since for a while Bernice tried to make me keep an empty gas can in the trunk so I wouldn’t have to keep buying more!
Even with all my degrees, I can learn a lot from Solomon, who is known as the wisest man who ever lived. He went beyond knowledge to wisdom & understanding. He translated what he knew into what he did and how he lived (1 Kings 4:29-31).
Did you catch that? He translated what he knew into what he did and how he lived.
Knowledge simply means that we know stuff. Wisdom & understanding show up when we live it out. When we practice smarts in our day-to-day lives. When we take the time to get gas before we run out and end up stranded – again – on the side of the road.
You’re smart, right? But you can be a lot smarter than you are by translating what you know into what you do.
By David Gudgel