What is Wisdom?

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding (Prov. 4:7 KJV)

What is wisdom showing an open book

You might expect God to prioritize power, especially if you are a charismatic like me. However, God emphasizes that wisdom is paramount and encourages us to gain understanding. You may be surprised to learn that the majority of challenges we face—be it financial, health-related, or spiritual—are not issues of power but of wisdom. Gaining wisdom can lead to immediate and positive changes in your life. Therefore, it’s in your best interest to understand wisdom and ardently pursue it.

So, what exactly is wisdom? Let’s delve into its meaning, focusing specifically on divine wisdom and how to acquire it.

Before proceeding, let’s establish that wisdom is an ability and a virtue. It’s a quality one can possess or lack, and it’s also something we can have in varying measures.  Instead of launching into a formal definition, let’s break wisdom into its core components: knowledge and prudence. Solomon captures these beautifully:

“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.” (Proverbs 8:12, ESV)

Wisdom is knowing of things( ourselves and the environment) that gives us insight into their nature and how they operate. Knowing the mechanics of something empowers us to achieve specific outcomes. For instance, science has expanded our understanding of nature, allowing us to exert significant control over life on Earth. Likewise, understanding the mechanics of money helps you know how to generate wealth—poverty is principally a wisdom problem.

Moreover, wisdom involves applying this knowledge to influence outcomes or effect change(prudence). When the disciples lacked food in John 6:6, Jesus knew exactly what to do, leading to a miraculous outcome.

Consequently, the Book of Proverbs often associates wisdom with knowledge and understanding. For instance, Proverbs 4:7 equates wisdom with understanding, and the theme recurs in Proverbs 2:1-6.

God, in His omniscience, knows everything there is to know. A complete understanding of the past, present, and future informs His decisions. This is why His wisdom is beyond measure (Romans 11:33). He cannot make mistakes because mistakes result from incomplete knowledge. Imagine how differently you would live if you knew what to do to be healed, wealthy, full of the Spirit, operate in God’s power, etc—and then apply that knowledge. 

Interestingly, God’s wisdom is imparted to us through His Word. Growing in the knowledge of the Word enhances our wisdom (2 Timothy 3:15). So, to reiterate Solomon’s counsel, acquire wisdom and gain understanding in all your pursuits.


What is wisdom in your own words, as defined above?

Apply the Word

God gives wisdom to His children and invites us to grow in divine wisdom. Some possess more, some less, and sadly, some have none (James 1:5, 1 Corinthians 15:34). Crave God’s wisdom, seek it earnestly, and pursue it wholeheartedly; doing so will lessen your hardships in life( Proverbs 2:1-6).


Ask the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of wisdom, to help you grow in divine wisdom.

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