“If we’re so smart, why aren’t we better off?”
This is indeed the “information age.” Never in the history of mankind has there been so much access to information. With a simple click, we can learn about the planets, oceans, micro-organisms, volcanoes, hurricanes, and anything else we may be curious about. We can explore ways to start a business, build a skyscraper or perform magic tricks. We can learn how to become a better father, mother, husband or wife. The amount of available information seems infinite.
But does all of this make us the smartest generation of all time? That’s a question we can answer by simply looking at the present condition of our world. Information alone is neither good nor bad, but what we do with it determines its value. A knife in the wrong hands can be used to bring harm, but a scalpel in a competent surgeon’s hand can save a life. And so it is with knowledge.
Neither information nor knowledge make one wise. You see, there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom. The dictionary defines wisdom as “the ability to discern or judge what is true, right, or lasting.” Knowledge, on the other hand, is “information gained through experience, reasoning, or acquaintance.” Knowledge can exist without wisdom, but not the other way around. One can be knowledgeable without being wise. Knowledge is knowing how to use a gun; wisdom is knowing when to use it, and when to keep it holstered.
Knowing facts about God and the Bible does not automatically foster godly wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God. James 1:5 states,
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
God blesses us with wisdom that we may use it to glorify Him by using the knowledge we have of Him. What are you and I doing with all the information that is available to us? As Christians, the answer to that question should be obvious. We should be using it to bring glory, honor, and praise to our Savior, Jesus Christ. How can we know if we are getting this right? Search the scriptures, of course!
For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. (Mark 9:41}
Unless we are using the knowledge and wisdom that is given to us to glorify Jesus Christ, all of our efforts toward that end are wasted. Our very existence will be in vain. All that we do and all that we are should be for Him and for His glory.