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!)

The Bible on Wisdom

Where to Begin?
The Bible is so VAST in what it says about wisdom, it is hard to know where to start. But Proverbs 1:7 is surely a starting point contender!

If you want to study what the Bible has to say about wisdom, here are a few suggestions.

Read through the Book of Proverbs and underline every verse that mentions wisdom. Look at the context as well. Jot down your most significant impressions. Proverbs uses the word wisdom 55 times and word wise another 56 times.

Then read through Ecclesiastes. It uses the word wisdom 25 times and wise 23 times.

The Pursuit of Wisdom: Words From the Wise

Bear with me for a minute... or if the next few ideas are too abstract, then just go to the quotes.

  • Meta-thinking is thinking about how to think.
  • Epistemology is the philosophy of knowing, which wants to know - how do we know?
  • Philosophy literally means, "the love of wisdom."
  • Theology is "the study of God" or the study of the things of God.

Wisdom is a major theme in the Bible. Tomorrow I will share a few thoughts about the Bible on wisdom. But today I simply wanted to show you that the world's great philosophers and religious founders are quite unanimous on the goodness of you and I pursuing wisdom. Some might even say that it is the pursuit of wisdom that is the way to happiness.

The Three Parts of Wisdom

Wisdom consists in doing the next thing you have to do, doing it with your whole heart, and finding delight in doing it.  Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart was a mystic, and one who skirted (and perhaps crossed over) the boundaries into some questionnable theological and spiritual realms. Even so, there are so many gems of insight and "wisdom" in his writings. This is one of them. It is a beautiful picture of wisdom.

The Unexamined Life is Not Worth Living

Socrates quote, the unexamined life is not worth living, self-awareness

The unexamined life is not worth living.


This is one of the most quoted lines of ancient philosophy. It may also be one of the most neglected. Our lives are busy, the pace of each day is frantic, distractions and interruptions are constant, silence and solitude rare, and the ways of deep reflection that is both critical-analytical and existential-imaginative have virtually disappeared.

Life is beautiful and vast.
There is mystery and messiness all around... and within.
There are many things that matter most which deserve careful and frequent attention.

Five Things You Need, to Learn From the Wisdom of Others

some wisdom must thou learn from one who i wise, Euripides quote

Some wisdom must thou learn from one who is wise. Euripides

The need for mentors is well known. Yet, I am still surprised at how many leaders do not have mentors. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, for there are a few conditions that must be in place for a mentoring relationship to happen.

Life Long Learning: Favorite Quotes

Anyone who stops learning is old whether at twenty or eighty.
Anyone who keeps learning stays young.
Henry Ford

What I Wish I Knew When I was 20

And If You Didn't Know Them at 20, the Sooner You Start, the Better

What i wish i knew when i was 20I read this book earlier in the year and found it a very helpful, full of practical advice and life gained insights. The sooner we can start learning the important lessons of life, and put them into practice, the better life will be.

Therefore, when two of my favorite authors (Dan and Chip Heath) HIGHLY recommended Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School by Andrew Hallam, I picked it up.

Four Areas Where Wisdom is Needed

First, a few quotes on the subject of wisdom . . .

By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest. 

Confucius, philosopher

Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal,
together with the surest means of attaining it.
J. I. Packer. theologian

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:7, King Solomon

Defining Wisdom

Wisdom. Truth. Knowledge. information. Insight. Enlightenment

Philosophy - the love of wisdom.
Theology - wisdom about God.

Wisdom is living according to what is good, true, right and beautiful. Wisdom is therefore, more than knowing facts. Wisdom is the reordering of your life so that it aligns with the good, the true, what is right and what is beautiful. Wisdom is a Way of Living.


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