Get Wisdom

Proverbs 4:7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

Driving by a church of Christ the other day, I saw this scripture quote on their sign. I’m not at all an advocate for church signs because most of the time they are trying to get smart with the reader and lets face it, those who won’t step foot in a church have good reason if the pastor talks to his church the same way a sign communicates to those driving by.

This scripture quote is rather interesting. My prayer for the past four years is for God to give me wisdom. But what is wisdom?

Wisdom: the soundness of an action or decision

with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.

What’s the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Aren’t they the same? I would say, no. Knowledge is information that we have. Wisdom is knowing what to do with that knowledge. In other words, education equals knowledge and training equals wisdom. That means education is important but without wisdom of how to use the education, it would be useless. Therefore, where a college or university benefits the educational aspect, a leader would be necessary for the successful foresight.

I would bet that most of us are very knowledgeable about issues that arise with church; gossip, selfishness, sin in general, segregated groups, theological differences, ecclesiastical polity, etc. But how do we really overcome these issues? What are the answers to the tough questions? How do we lead a church without hampering the ministry leaders. How do we have community without allowing Ms. Sally (who can’t sing) to sing a special, Mr. John giving a deer gutting demonstration and calling it discipleship training, Joanne celebrating her six-year old’s birthday and getting upset the pastor doesn’t show up, breaking hundred year old traditions without hurting the senior’s feelings, or renaming the church without taking God out of the church?

I believe we all would have great arguments that supported both sides of each argument but what would be the wise thing to do in those fragile moments of the church? That’s where I believe God is speaking to us to find wisdom. We have the knowledge. We know we need change if something needs to be done but how?


Wisdom I believe comes from experience. That means in my situation as a pastor of a church plant, I have some knowledge from pervious experiences in church leadership but applying that knowledge, I’m sure to make some mistakes. Those mistakes will lead me to wisdom. Eventually, when problems arise, I can look back and past experiences and from what I have learned and make wise choices in light of God’s word as well.

Wisdom also comes from learning from the experience of others. George Santayana is known for once saying, “Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.” We can definitely learn from the mistakes an successes of others and make them applicable to our current situations. Although not every answer needs to be duplicated in our situation, the principles from others situations are surely applicable.

Everyone has answers. Which is the right answer? Wisdom will tell.

Get wisdom while the getting is good!


About Kevin Riner
child of grace, worshiper of Jesus, husband, father, Pastor of Village Church, author of Faith Debugged

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