My daughter likes to tell me that times have changed since I was a little girl; life seemed simpler, communities more tight knit, and school less intrusive.
- Pencil sharpeners, car windows, and can openers were manual.
- Mom and Dad could trust that I would come home when the street lights came on.
- At only 8 years-old, I could ride my bike for miles and miles without my parents worrying.
- My sister and I spent the entire summer outdoors, climbing plumb trees and picking berries.
- Waiting for photos to be developed was almost as exciting as Christmas – Each photo flipped was like a tiny sparkler celebration of unexpected joy.
- Slip N Slides held enough summer fun for an entire afternoon.
- A carefully dug hole became a homestead for my imaginary family, complete with mud pies and grass salad.
- School projects forced me into a library of Encyclopedia Brittanica.
- Television watching was for rainy days, but even on those, I preferred rain dancing over Punky Brewster.
- Sheets weren’t for sleeping, but for outdoor fort building.
- Joy came wrapped in Tootsie Roll pops from the candy store.
Yes, times have changed, especially in regard to how we acquire knowledge.
Knowledge Is Power
I remember sitting in my classroom, just a young girl of 10. I was waiting for school to end and I sat forward in my desk, staring toward the front of the room at a poster. “Knowledge is Power” was written in bold, black letters. I didn’t stop and think about what that meant, but in the years to come, I continued to see this written on the walls of my classrooms.
As an adult, I reflect more on what I learned as a child. Your perspective changes as you add more experience holes onto your life belt. You start to question things you were taught – whether they were accurate or misleading.
Do you ever challenge what you were taught? Like knowledge being power. Is it?
Sure, acquiring knowledge has given me the power to challenge the claim that knowledge is power, but there has to be more to it than that.
Challenging Knowledge as Power
Sometimes I recognize themes in my life. The theme may last an entire season or just a day. Recently, when I woke up, I saw a Facebook post I had written from a couple years prior. It said this:
There are two types of wisdom: The first is Human Wisdom (James 3:15), which is earthly (limited to man’s reasoning), natural (part of us that desires our will and our way), and demonic (its root is found in Satan himself). The second is Godly Wisdom (James 3:17), which is pure (perfect), peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. Why would you not choose the second?
It got me thinking; knowledge may be powerful, but it can also be harmful if used inappropriately. In contrast to the good ole’ days, you can find just about anything you want to know through the internet. Gone are the days of having to search through Encyclopedia Britannica’s. From self-help books to T.V. shows, to articles and blog posts, knowledge is plentiful!
This is where the caveat lies. If I could add to those Knowledge is Power signs, they would read:
Knowledge is power when rooted in wisdom.” – Lettered Roots
Knowledge is not the problem today. People are consuming information left and right. The problem today is that knowledge is not rooted in wisdom. When wisdom is not used in conjunction with knowledge, that’s where problems arise.
How to Use Knowledge With Wisdom
So how does one use knowledge with wisdom? It starts with a shift in your mindset. It requires that you stop trying to do things with your own strength and instead, rely on the one who created wisdom in the first place!
The root of wisdom is to fear the Lord, and the branches thereof are long life. Ecclesiastes 1:20
Fearing the Lord doesn’t mean cowering down in a corner, shaking like a leaf. It means having respect and awe for Him. It means pressing into and leaning on Him daily.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. – Proverbs 1:7
It’s going to take some time and effort, but if you really want to use knowledge wisely, it requires the sacrifice of spending time in God’s Word. Just like brushing your teeth becomes a habit and necessity, you will find over time, that spending time in God’s Word becomes a habit. What began as a sacrifice will become like a cool drink of water on a humid summer day. You will begin to crave spending time with Him.
Are you relying on your own strength?
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning. -Proverbs 9:9
You must be willing to take correction from others and allow yourself to grow. You have an entire book of wisdom at your fingertips. While the rest of the world may see Godly wisdom as a weakness, I challenge you to tell me stories of when Godly wisdom failed.
Walk in wisdom today.