Wisdom can be defined as the proper use of knowledge. Knowledge is basically information whereas wisdom is the proper use of that information.
The application of wisdom falls into three distinct arenas. The first arena is on the personal level and has to do with your personal proficiency. Itdeals with your skills and abilities. These skills and abilities can be improved by training and experience. There are at least five characteristics that enhance an individual’s personal proficiency. First, they are focused. They have a goal and it is predominate in their efforts and they are constantly moving toward it. They do not allow distractions to keep them from it.
Second, they are organized and they have learned not to waste motion or action. Any distraction from that goal requires additional energy, resources, and time and can defeat the main effort by exhausting your provisions to reach your goal. My dad used to advise me to “work smarter, not harder” to underscore this truth.
A third characteristic is efficiency, which is thinking about what you are doing and practicing it repeatedly. By doing this you discover how to remove wasted motion and the end result is that you make it look easy.
A fourth characteristic is diligence. They neither give up nor quit. Staying at the task is vital in order to accomplish it. After all is said and done it still requires a full investment to do it. Equally important is protecting against burn out which requires a balance of effort.
Finally, they finish well. Completing a job is not only satisfying but it is also a vital part of the effort. They tie up loose ends with the three R’s of RESTORE, REPLACE and RETURN. They restore their tool’s function by fixing what’s broken and repairing what is worn. They replace what is used up and worn out and they return what is to be used again to its place.
The second arena of wisdom is in Proper Prudence. Thisarena addresses professional practices with others and involves living a productive and generally successful life. In this arena you deal with people and all of their faults and failures. They are not always kind or helpful but rather they are mostly selfish, short sighted and hurtful as they are in darkness and have not know God or his ways. Here it is not a matter of just being right but a reflection of the grace and wonder of God, Himself. Sometimes we must bear the burden of their error in order to reach them in their darkness.
Honesty and fairness in your business dealings are good examples of how to relate to people who are walking in darkness. Truthfulness and dependability are also spotlights that expose God. Humility is the alternate to the proud, and respect will set you apart from those who ridicule. These are but examples of proper prudence that say you are important and I value you. This wisdom comes from God and requires a dependence on Him to work His wonder. It is not a compromise nor is it flattery but must be genuine in its application and an expression of faith in the Lord.
The third arena of wisdom is Philosophical Principles. This arena addresses the profound issues of human existence such as good vs. evil, human suffering, the basic questions of life (Who? What? When? Where? And Why?) with an emphasis on the Why of life. Answers in this arena come down to the Sovereignty of God and ultimately we must trust Him; especially when we do not understand. Yet, struggling with these principles we come to understand God better. The book of Job is a classic example of this arena of wisdom. Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. In the book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified (looked at as though it was a person)as a woman who would bring many blessings when heeded and curses when it was rejected. It is contrasted to three types of persons; the inexperienced, the mockers and fools, all of which reject wisdom and its ways, and ultimately end in death. Life is full of challenges and difficulties and wisdom will enrich the journey while life without it will be an endless struggle and ultimate defeat.