Secular wisdom and spiritual wisdom

What exactly is wisdom? And why do we have to separate between secular and spiritual wisdom? According to Wikipedia, wisdom is “the ability to judge between actions with regard to appropriate actions at a given time”, and “a disposition to find the truth coupled with an optimum judgement as to right actions”. This definition is quite evidently the secular wisdom that most of us have known to associate with. Simply put, it is just the application of facts or knowledge and make judgements that will be proven correct at a later time. So one must master gaining knowledge before he can even gain any wisdom. This happens a lot in the realm of investing where people are largely making predictions/extrapolations about the future using existing facts. People who are known to have a good track record of being right are being called wise, or being a sage (e.g. the sage of Omaha). The requirement for being secularly wise is to make odd bets that will somehow, someday proven to be right. You must possess the ability to make odd calls confidently against most parties, where everyone else will mostly jeer at you for being stupid at the time being. It is not for the faint hearted who constantly seeks approval from others, or the feeble minded without any guts. It really is true that being able to make right bets on the future does require a lot of secular wisdom. To earn the title of a sage or oracle or anything is not an easy task. However, I can argue it is easier for certain niches of people.

Spiritual wisdom is something different to secular wisdom but does have similar tone to it. In the Bible it says, The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction (Proverbs 1:7). This means if you obey the Lord, you will begin to acquire knowledge, which is essential for gaining wisdom. Wisdom is something that will protect you due to sound judgement – Wisdom will save you from the ways of wicked men, from men whose words are perverse, who have left the straight paths to walk in dark ways (Proverbs 2:11-13)., Wisdom will save you also from the adulterous woman, from the wayward woman with her seductive words…(Proverbs 2:16).  Wisdom can only acquired through humility – When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Proverbs 11:2), this is quite true with secular wisdom since it happens a lot in the investment world.

Paul has stated the difference in 1 Corinthians  – For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. He further states “but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” The world can see certain people as being wise but in God’s eyes we are all foolish, which is very true if God is omnipotent and can see all things, then the mere ability for certain individuals to predict the future with high probability of success is plain foolishness. God can do it with 100% certainty, and probably drawing much less brain power than humans ever do. Since we are all in a game of fools competing with fools, literally, God chose the weak to nullify the powerful, just so that we can’t boast about ourselves, instead we boast in God. This comes in perfect harmony for with humility comes wisdom. The humbler we stay, the more wisdom God gives us, which is the only way it can go because God uses the weak to nullify the powerful, and the foolish things to shame the wise.  It all just makes perfect sense.


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