We live in an age of information. Anything we need to know is readily available at most of our fingertips. “Siri?” or “Ok Google” opens up a wealth of trivial to vital data, and the beautiful thing is that we don’t even have to process it anymore. If you need to know something, you can. Instantly. Unfortunately, more information does not always make us wiser.
I remember watching NBC on Saturday mornings. Between the cartoons and the teen shows there would be a series of commercials stating “The More You Know…” . These commercials enlisted the help of our favorite celebrities, to encourage my generation make better decisions. Most of the time they covered cigarette, alcohol and drug use; every now and then, they would discuss bullying and sex. The whole idea was based on the presupposition that we could eradicate all these social ills with information. The more you know, the better decisions you will make.
But that’s not always the way things work. My generation is the one of legalized marijuana, and same-sex marriage. My generation, with all we know, is the generation of mass domestic terrorism, countless school shootings and pointless church burnings. My generation, with all we know, is still grappling with racism, classism, police brutality, and authority abuse. I’m afraid that we may know too much for our own good.
We are not lacking in knowledge and information, but we seem to really be falling short with wisdom and understanding. There seems to be a disconnect somewhere, because knowing truth is not the same as living out truth. God intended for us to operate with wisdom, which comes from above, not JUST knowledge. Wisdom and understanding gives us the proper context for the things we know. Wisdom and understanding helps us to apply or to avoid what may be respectively helpful and harmful to us. Wisdom and understanding is what gives life depth and meaning, because we are coming to the point where we see that knowledge alone is trivial and vanity.
The wisest man to ever live, instructed his son with these words: “Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom! Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!” (Proverbs 4:7, The Message, Eugene Peterson) Heaping to ourselves knowledge, even in the smallest things, without the proper understanding and devoid of wisdom, is just as damaging as ignorance. So every morning when you look at yourself, pray these words to God: “What I need from you is UNDERSTANDING.” And as you go throughout your day, remind yourself and Him: “As simple as 1-2-3, UNDERSTANDING is what I need.”
“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” (James 1:5, New Living Translation)
© 2015 Team Murph Publishing/DJoaquin Publishing, All Rights Reserved
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“Understanding” was written by Manuel Seal. Produced by Manuel Seal & Jermaine Dupree. Performed by XSCAPE. Released 1993