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“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding” (Proverbs 2:1-6 NLT).
I think society tends to confuse knowledge with education. However, a person can have extensive education and college degrees and not necessarily be very knowledgeable. Perhaps they were a poor student and just did the minimum to get by or maybe they have not kept current in their field over the years. If I memorize chemical reactions, mathematical equations, and even scripture, then I have developed some knowledge on the subject, albeit somewhat superficial.
Education is fine and knowledge is great. However, a person that has understanding of a subject has mastered the topic and is on the path to wisdom. To understand something goes far beyond education and knowledge. A person with understanding can use their education and knowledge to figure out (understand) any new situation or problem Proverbs 2:1-6 gives us insight into knowledge. “My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. For the LORD grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.”
It is important at this point to acknowledge that everything we have is from God, and this includes our education, wisdom, and understanding. God wants us to “tune your ears to wisdom” which means listen to those who know more than you do. “Concentrate on understanding” is an invitation to use your God-given brain to move beyond memorization or superficial knowledge and strive to understand. God is giving us advice on how to better understand Him. Once we better understand God we can use this knowledge to live a Godly life and bring others to Him. Knowledge of God is essential for discipleship. How can you follow God if you have no understanding of Him?
Prayer: Dear God, Thank you for the blessings of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. Help us to use these gifts to make wise decisions that bring honor and glory to You. Amen.
Meet the Author
Todd Shupe is a Men’s Ministry Specialist through the General Commission of United Methodist Men and is in training to be a Certified Lay Minister through the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church. He currently serves as the President of the Baton Rouge District of United Methodist Men and is a Board Member for Gulf South Men and serves on the Action Team for The Kingdom Group. He is a volunteer for the Walk to Emmaus, Grace Camp, and Iron Sharpens Iron. Todd resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
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