Describing Wisdom and the Wise

Ephesians 1:17-18, eyes of your heart may be enlightenedHere are some short reflections that were directly inspired by Doug Blomberg and his book, Wisdom and Curriculum, Christian Schooling After Postmodernity. Blomberg was poetic to introduce a section of the book. I took his words, used some of them, adapted others, added my own. But his words were the inspiring source.

What I believe about WISDOM . . .

WISDOM is learned by living. We become wise by our experiments and explorations. Wisdom is always contextual, gained in a location, a space, a place.

WISDOM is expressed in a way of life. Wisdom habituates us and forms habits of the heart. (So does foolishness!)

WISDOM is not just a way of thinking, but rather, a fully embodied way of living. To be wise is to think, feel, reflect, desire, will, dream, choose and live. Ideas become incarnate and fully fleshed out in your life.

WISDOM is relational. It is not an individual experience. it is a communal, in community, in life together way of living. 

WISDOM is stewardship. It is a way of taking care of, loving, advancing what is given to you.

WISDOM is curious, open, searching, seeking, exploring, pursuing, questing, questioning... for the long haul.

WISDOM is situated in a tradition that has authority and norms. The tradition provides parameters and guidance... AND... yet is always reforming and renewing. This is the ancient-future dynamic. It is the given-growing tension. It is both/and and never either-or. 

WISDOM is vital optimism about God's Word, God's Way, God's Will... both here and now, and forever and ever, world without end, Amen.

WISDOM brings with it "demands." There is no other way to say it. To be wise is to listen and obey the truth. Truth comes with "must" and with "ought." It is the fool who thinks she or he can decide what to do and escape consequenes. This is the way of wisdom - walk in it. It is not an invitation. it is an imperative.

WISDOM is dynamic. It is not static. It grow, develops, advances, and expands. 

WISDOM is the capacity to live with mystery and messiness, with ambiguity and complexity, with multiplicity and diversity. 

WISDOM knows that something is wrong with the world and that something is wrong with me. Wisdom is the self-awareness of one's lack and one's need. Wisdom knows there is disorder, brokenness, fragmentation, dysfunction and evil in the world and inside. 

T.S. Eliot, where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge

WISDOM is the reordering, renewing, transforming, reconfiguring of the mind of Christ as our mind.

WISDOM is the long, slow, deep, difficult, particular journey to know, love, worship, serve, follow, obey, trust Christ in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom.

That's my best shot (for now) of defining wisdom. But it is only a start. What would you add?

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International