Google+ 06/26/13 Wisdom, Knowledge, or Both?!

1 Corinthians 12:8-9

 

To one person the Spirit gives the ability to give wise advice;

To another the same Spirit gives a message of special knowledge.

 

As we continue today with part three of our five-part devotion discussing spiritual gifts, Paul defines the characteristics of two of these important gifts.  There is so much confusion in Christian circles about what Paul means.  Please understand that there is nothing "supernatural" about these tools that God gives us to build His Kingdom.  Through the Holy Spirit, some Christians are given the gift of wise advice.  These are the people we should listen to as they express God's plan for all of us.  God is not creating a bunch of "Dear Abby's" here!  This gift is not bestowed on people so that they can make choices like "French fries or mashed potatoes!"  The gift of wisdom is designed to send all of us down the right path, attempting to teach people God's discernment before it is too late.  Often we can avoid great anguish from making correct choices earlier than later.  One might think that this gift would be primary in those that call themselves ministers.  Unfortunately, making this assumption can often lead to disaster, as many pastors I know simply do not have the gift of wisdom.  Many of them have vast knowledge, but simply do not have wisdom when it comes to helping others sort out the knowledge they have acquired.   Before we go on, now would be a good time to point out the difference between the two gifts we are discussing today.  The first gift is what we refer to as wisdom.  The second one is the gift of knowledge.  So, can you know a lot of information and not be wise?  Absolutely, and we all know people like this.   Most of them have spent a great deal of time accumulating facts with no idea why they have all the knowledge.  There is a reason why Paul discusses these gifts together.  Knowledge does equal power.  The problem is that this power can be wrongly used when not coupled with the gift of wisdom.  Some of the smartest people I know often get into trouble quickly because they do not listen to God's wisdom.  We may have the knowledge to destroy someone emotionally, but we need to exercise wisdom and never do it.  We can provoke our children to wrath.  We know how, but the Bible emphatically says to not do this.  The internet has been both a blessing and a curse in the area of knowledge.  You can find instructions to do almost anything with a smartphone, Google, and a little time.  Because we can find the directions of how to steal or murder online, does not mean we should do either one of these things!  What is our challenge in this area today in our lives?  Discover if you have the gift of wisdom.  Pray and talk to God.  If you possess the gift of wisdom, use it for God's glory.  If you can claim the gift of knowledge, be grateful to God for the facts that He has bestowed upon you.  Pray before you act to ensure that Satan does not use your new-found information against you and God.  As Paul tells us, use other Christians to help you with wise choices.  If God has blessed you with both wisdom and knowledge, much will be expected of you.  As you discern God's special gifts in your life, here are your choices today.  Wisdom, Knowledge, or Both?!