In Proverbs 24:3-4 Solomon writes, “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” I believe this is a road map to “get wisdom”. In order to walk in wisdom, we must first acquire knowledge and then deepen that knowledge with understanding.
The first step on the journey to wisdom is acquiring knowledge. Knowledge is simply facts the and information. As I suggested in the last post, we are not born with the information we need to live a wise life – we have to be intentional learners.
5 Steps to Get Knowledge
1. Make a list of subjects you need to know about.
Proverbs 18:15 — The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.
I encourage you to get a piece of paper and literally write out a list. Think through the different roles in your life and make “need to know” list for each role.
For example, as a follower of Jesus, you might need to know about God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, The Bible, evangelism, salvation, and sanctification (to name a few). As a spiritual leader, you might need to know about leadership, strategic planning, financial planning, relational leadership, and time management.
In addition to specific roles, it may also be helpful to think through the specific challenges of your life stage and its impact on marriage, parenting, career, health, and education.
2. Know where to find information on each subject.
Proverbs 15:14 — The discerning heart seeks knowledge, but the mouth of a fool feeds on folly.
Today, we have more access to more information than any time in history – we have books, blogs, websites, podcasts, sermons, conferences and seminars at our disposal. Your task is to use your limited time in a way that maximizes the benefit from learning, which involves identifying the best sources of the right information.
Here are a couple suggestions:
- Use multiple and varied sources for each subject in which you are getting wisdom.
- Choose your sources with discretion.
- Choose tried and true over new and trendy.
- Choose to know the content creator’s background and choose variety.
- Choose to make Scripture your primary source of knowledge.
3. Record the useful information and discard the rest.
Proverbs 22:12 — The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful.
Create a system for extracting the ideas, information, facts, stories and points that you believe to be helpful. I write useful things on my computer for easy retrieval. Don’t feel the need to read every page, listen to every second and finish everything you start, regardless of value to acquire knowledge.
4. Store up new information in a system that makes sense.
Proverbs 10:14 — The wise store up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool invites ruin.
Find a system that works for you. I use Evernote, because the tags and titles allow me to easily locate specific information that I’ve saved.
5. Beware of pride.
Proverbs 1:7 — The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3 — Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up. Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. But whoever loves God is known by God.
Knowledge leads to pride when you gather information for its own sake. The purpose of getting knowledge is not to be knowledgeable, but to gain understanding so you can walk in wisdom.