I prayed, and prudence was given me;
I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne,
and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
and I chose to have her rather than the light,
because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.
Yet all good things together came to me in her company,
and countless riches at her hands.
Wisdom is defined as:
- “The ability to think and act using knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense and insight (Dictionary.com).
- “Capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgement in the choice of means and ends” (Oxford English Dictionary)
In other words, wisdom isn’t simply intelligence or knowledge. It is the ability to use our intelligence, knowledge, and experiences to think and act and make choices that are beneficial and productive.
Wisdom is considered to be an important, if not the most important, virtue by many traditions:
- The ancient Greeks personified wisdom as the goddesses Metis and Athena.
- The ancient Romans personified wisdom in Minerva, who represents skillful knowledge and the virtues, especially chastity.
In Christianity, wisdom is one of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit:
- The book of Proverbs, believed to have been written by King Solomon, primarily focuses on wisdom, giving direction on how to handle our relationship with God; the viccissitudes of life — of marriage, finances, work, friendships and persevering in difficult situations.
- St. Paul said there is both secular and divine wisdom, and urged us to pursue the latter: “the wisdom of this world is folly with God” -1 Corinthians 3:19.
- St. Thomas Aquinas considered wisdom to be the “father” — the cause, measure, and form — of all virtues.
In the past, U.S. public school teachings included character education, which Benjamin Franklin called training in wisdom and virtue. Sadly, along with the Constitution and America’s founding history (see “Only 1 in 3 Americans could pass a U.S. citizenship test”), our taxpayers-funded schools no longer teach and instill character and wisdom.
King Solomon believed wisdom comes from God and begins with fear of God:
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight” -Proverbs 9:10
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding” -Proverbs 2:6.
“He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones” -Proverbs 2:7-8.
Pray to God for wisdom!
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” -Proverbs 3:5-6.
“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.” -James 1:5
May the peace and love and wisdom of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,