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Friday, August 28, 2009

Wisdom Is a No-Brainer

There is a difference between wisdom and intelligence. Many very smart people make some very unwise choices in their lives. They can tell you laws of physics or quote Shakespeare but they can't raise their children or stay married. They will know the difference between AC and DC currents but they will not know that taking their children to church is more important than playing golf every Sunday. They are the smartest clueless people on the planet. They are full of intelligence but have no wisdom at all. 

Wisdom doesn't have the value it once had. There was a time that it was recognized. It was seen in those who were older. They had traveled the road of hard knocks and learned.

Wisdom tells us to listen. Intelligence seems to want to talk. Wisdom says that a child can teach us things. Intelligence says it has nothing to learn. Wisdom says there are others smarter than me. Intelligence claims a higher I.Q.  Wisdom says, "I'm listening!" Intelligence says, "Shut up!"

Wisdom and intelligence are not exclusive of each other. They do seem to battle, though. The person who is incredibly smart may take a long time becoming wise. Their intelligence is beyond others. They do not need to listen. They know how to fix just about everything. If not, they can figure it out for themselves.

Wisdom knows the difference between good and best. It says that sleep is good but that it is best to get up and get to work. It says that creativity is good but it is no excuse for failing to do what you must do. It says that everything has a proper place in importance. It values people. It grows.

Intelligence does not know what it does not know. Wisdom does. Intelligence struggles to weigh the value of things. Wisdom knows which is more important. Wisdom knows you must be present to raise your children. Intelligence says that someone else can do it so that you can do more important things like make money.

Facts can be given to someone else. They are numbers, places, times, formulas, scientific method and the like. They can be taught and even forced upon students. Wisdom is something you must want. It cannot be simply taught. It takes a willing heart to have wisdom. It takes humility to become wise.

The wise person's life is put in order. He or she knows what is right and wrong. He or she knows what is important and best. He or she weighs the good and the bad in each decision. 

The merely intelligent person will point to his or her degrees, publications and creations to prove his or her intelligence. The wise person may also be intelligent but sees his or her life through the opportunities given to him or her. They see themselves blessed rather than accomplished.

Who can be wise? Take a look at Proverbs. There is much there to tell us about wisdom. I'll admit, I would have chosen intelligence over wisdom when I was younger. Now I know that wisdom is much more important. The choice is a no-brainer. 

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