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What is…
wisdom and how to find it

Wisdom is the ability to discern what is true, what is right and what is lasting. The opposite of wisdom is foolishness (being unwise), and, like it or not, that is the prevailing human condition. Fortunately, you don’t have to remain unwise forever.

Knowledge ≠ Wisdom or Discernment

Millions have much knowledge, but little wisdom. Our modern world is filled with abundant knowledge at our fingerips, like never before in all of human history. Yet the world still has few that are wise.

…they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools…Romans 3:10-18 LSB excerpt

Age ≠ Wisdom

Sadly, one’s age is not the defining factor in gaining wisdom.

The abundant in years may not be wise… —Job 32:9 NASB excerpt

Millions never become wise, no matter how long they live. The shame of failing to become wise is a tragic result of human pride and sin.

There are many old fools, including people in positions of prestige, leadership, and power.

A poor yet wise lad is better than an old and foolish king who no longer knows how to receive instruction. —Ecclesiastes 4:13 NASB

Godly young people have sometimes displayed surprisingly great wisdom for their years.

Genius ≠ Wisdom

Sorry geniuses, although having a superior brain can be wonderful, it is no free ticket to true wisdom. Plenty of highly intelligent people end up in Hell, most of them. Many have done very foolish and evil things.

Atheism/Agnosticism ≠ Wisdom

To be godless is to be foolish.

“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’…” ——Psalm 14:1 NASB excerpt

“Professing to be wise, they became fools…” ——Romans 1:22 NASB excerpt

How does one become WISE?

There is a chain of connection between Biblical Wisdom and each of the following traits. Any broken link(s) will result in loss of wisdom (some degree of foolishness).

The Fear of the Lord ► Wisdom

If you, do NOT fear God, you can NEVER become truly wise.

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” —Proverbs 1:7 NASB

“…Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;And to depart from evil is understanding.” —Job 28:28 NASB excerpt

What is THE FEAR OF THE LORD? Why is it so very important? Answer

Humility ► Wisdom

One of the world’s most common and destructive sins in our word is SELF-CENTERED EGOTISM—sinful pride and selfishness.

Drop your pridefulness—humble yourself before God. This is vitally important. Humility opens your eyes to reality. With a more realistic view of who your really are and who God is, discernment and wisdom will follow.

…I say to each one among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound thinking… —Romans 12:3 LSB

What does God love, and what does He hate?

He loves a humble repentant heart. He hates a prideful sinful heart. God sees the truth of we are. You may imagine yourself as very smart and great, but with all His knowledge and eternal perspective, what He will see within you is an UTTER FOOL.

Conceit comes before a fall into condemnation (1 Timothy 3:6).

If we suffocate pride, we will starve every other sin of its oxygen.

I must decrease, but He must increase. —John 3:30

Thankfulness ► Wisdom

If you are not thankful to God, something is very wrong in your heart and mind. Until that changes, you can never become truly wise.

Faith/Trust ► Wisdom

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5-6

What is FAITH and why is it important? Answer

Obedience ► Wisdom

Obedience to God’s commands, enables growth toward Wisdom. Learn what God is urging you to do… and do it.

How can you know His commands? Study Word of God—the Holy Bible—that He has provided.

“The wise of heart will receive [God’s] commandments[don’t be an ignorant fool]…” —Proverbs 10:8 LSB excerpt

Devote your life to serving God faithfully, pursuing holiness, righteousness, being one who truly loves (an action, not an emotion)—doing good works.

Obedience includes: • respectful, devoted study of God’s Word (the Holy Bible) • live righteouslydo goodseek holiness • maintain high integrity (keep promises, be accurate, truthful) • love othersbe faithful • be self-disciplined • etc.

HYPOCRISY— Don’t be a hypocrite—a person who is one way on the outside, and far different on the inside—in reality, believing in YOURSELF, not God.

Meekness ► Wisdom

This is strength and power that the follower of God holds in check with a self-controlled calm mind—displaying gentleness, that is not easily provoked.

What is this gentleness in strength a trait of the truly wise? Answer

Truth ► Wisdom

The follower of Christ is to honestly seek truth. Discernment is required.

Discernment ► Wisdom

Lack of discernment = Foolish judgment

“To make your ear pay attention to wisdom,
Incline your heart to discernment” —Proverbs 2:2 LSB

Lack of discernment is ineptness at judging between…

“Discern, you senseless…
…when will you have insight, you fools?” Psalm 94:8 LSB excerpt

So, discernment is crucial, and many in our world are choosing very poorly. Many are clueless.

HOW DOES ONE GET DISCERNMENT? Does it come from within? Are humans naturally born with it?

Why you cannot trust an inner compass

JUST BELIEVE IN YOURSELF? — A very common worldly view and message is “just believe in yourself… be true to yourself. Follow your heart!” Is that what God urges us to do? What does His Word reveal?

He who trusts in his own heart is a fool,But he who walks wisely will escape. —Proverbs 28:26 LSB

Have you considered that the inner voice you were born with and have so often followed is (or was) inherently evil?

True, everyone human is born with a God-given basic sense of right and wrong and of basic justice), but the conscience of most becomes seared so badly from repeated sin that it is no longer sensitive. The conscience of an unrepentant, unregenerate, repetitive sinner is certainly not a reliable inner compass for the important hardwork of WISE DISCERNMENT in this confusing and deceptive world.

ARE YOU SPIRITUALLY BLIND? — Understand that if you are NOT a true follower of Jesus Christ (a true Christian), YOU ARE SPIRITUALLY DEAD and lost in darkness (blind)—and you are probably oblivious to it.

It is not just you. Ever since Adam’s first sin, all humans are born spiritually DEAD. Our nature is to be in rebellion against God and to be a continual slave to sin.

If you have not been born into the spiritual Kingdom of God, you are living in the kingdom of Satan, the Great Deceiver—“the god of this world.”

Can Christians be CONFIDENT in following their “inner compass”?

That depends. CONFIDENCE in what? Yourself? No, for a Christian, self-confidence is in who we are in Christ, not who we are in ourselves. He is our identity, and God’s Holy Spirit dwells in us. Believe in what GOD can do THROUGH YOU.

The combination of the Spirit of God in you and His written Word provide His true children with the enlightment and knowledge needed to discern between truth and error. That discernment is a very valuable gift from God; don’t ignore, be sensitive to it. It is wonderful, and can save you and your loved ones from a lot of pain.

However, always beware of the weaknesses and impulses of our flesh. Even though we have become a son or daughter of God (princes and princesses of the King), saints in the body of Christ, for now we are still living in a fallen body with a fallen brain in a fallen world. Don’t be confident in yourself; grow in trust and confidence in God.

The Spirit of truth (John 14:16) indwells you. Allow Him to ALIGN YOU WITH GOD’S VIEW—your heart, thoughts, emotions and actions. Consult the Word of God and follow it, not yourself.

Does discernment continually allude you?

Do you believe that you are a Christian, yet admit that discernment is continually alluding you? You keep getting taken in by false teachers, bad pastors, worldly christianity and corrupt churches.

Consider the possibility that you are a false convert, not a true child of God. Humbly take action, something inside has held you back from becoming a true Believer.

Learn more

True wisdom and discernment are a gift from God

“For Yahweh gives wisdom;
From His mouth come knowledge and discernment.” —Proverbs 2:6 LSB

Have you asked for it?

“…if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” —James 1:5 NASB

What a wonderful gift it is!

“How blessed is the man who finds wisdomAnd the man who obtains discernment. …nothing you desire compares with her…” —Proverbs 3:13-18 LSB excerpt

“…teach us to number our days,
That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:8-12 LSB excerpt

…“If you abide in My word… you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” —John 8:31-32 LSB

Wisdom as “she” in Proverbs

Wisdom… calls from the tops of the heights of the city:
“Whoever is simple, let him turn in here!”
To him who lacks a heart of wisdom she says,
“Come, eat of my bread…” —Proverbs 9:1-5 LSB excerpt

“Wisdom” in Proverbs 9:1-5; 1:20; 8:1 may be regarded not as a mere personification of the attribute of wisdom, but as a divine person, “Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Corinthians 1:24).

Matthew 11:19 LSB says, “Wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” The personified principle of wisdom is what is meant.

Christ’s followers to be “shrewd”

“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” —Matthew 10:16 LSB

Greek: φρόνιμος —transliteration: phronimos —meaning: shrewd, practically wise, sensible, “having a keen awareness or resourcefulness in practical matters,” smart, good practical judgment, astute, common sense, savy —occurrences: 14 time in Scripture

Hebrew and Greek words


חָכַם —transliteration: chakam —meaning: to be wise —occurrences: 27

חָכְמָה (a feminine noun) —transliteration: chokmah or chokma —meaning: wisdom—both divine (Proverbs 3:19) and human (Daniel 1:17) —occurrences: 157 times in Scripture (Strong’s Concordance: 2451 + 2452)

חָכְמוֹת —transliteration: chokmoth —meaning: wisdom; every wise (woman) —occurrences: 5

תּוּשִׁיָּה —transliteration: tushiyyah (feminine noun) —meaning: sound wisdom; wisdom; helpful insight; success —occurrences: 11

תָּבוּן —transliteration: tebunah —meaning: an understanding —occurrences: 42

בִּינָה —transliteration: binah —meaning: an understanding —occurrences: 38

שֶׂכֶל —transliteration: sekel —meaning: prudence; insight; wisdom; understanding; discretion; sense —occurrences: 16


σοφία —transliteration: sophia —meaning: wisdom, insight, skill (human or divine), intelligence —occurrences: 51

σοφός —transliteration: sophos —meaning: wise —occurrences: 20

σοφίζω —transliteration: sophizó or sophizo —meaning: to make wise —occurrences: 2

φρόνησις—transliteration: phronésis or phronesis —meaning: understanding that leads to right action; practical wisdom; prudence —occurrences: 2

φιλοσοφία —transliteration: philosophia —meaning: the love of wisdom; the pursuit of wisdom —occurrences: 1

συνετός —transliteration: sunetos —meaning: intelligent, prudent, wise, understanding, discerning —occurrences: 4

φρονίμως —transliteration: phronimós —meaning: wisely, sensibly, prudently —occurrences: 1

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Article Version: August 17, 2021