Human and Spiritual Wisdom, Understanding and The Differences

Spiritual Understanding


“The beginning of Wisdom is:  get Wisdom (skillful and godly Wisdom)!  [For skillful and godly Wisdom is the principal thing.]  And with all you have gotten, get understanding (discernment, comprehension, and interpretation)”  ~ Proverbs 4:7

“A stated purpose of this book of Proverbs is to impart skillful and godly Wisdom.  Proverbs is a practical book dealing with the art of living, and it bases Wisdom solidly on the fear of the Lord (1:7).  WISDOM in the Proverbs has a broad base of meaning, covering such things as practical knowledge in discerning between good and evil in the ordinary affairs of life; the discernment between truth and error or that which is lasting and makes for success in life; and the insight of man beyond the human to the divine realities discerned and deduced from that which God has revealed”  [Taken from the Amplified Versions introduction to The Book of Proverbs].

This blog is not a study about The Book of Proverbs but an introduction to human and spiritual wisdom with understanding.

For the past few days, my morning reading in the Bible  has been in the book of Ecclesiastes; the author being king Solomon.  I came across a verse in CHAPTER 3, that somewhat puzzled me at first about the WISDOM OF SOLOMON:

“For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even [in the end] one thing befalls them both.  Yes, they all have one breath and spirit, so that a man has no preeminence over a beast; for all is vanity (emptiness, falsity, and futility)”

I thought, where in the world did Solomon come up with the idea that a man has no preeminence over a beast?  Does the Bible really teach that? No!  Ecclesiastes gives a startling picture of how fatal it is for even the wisest of men to substitute man’s “wisdom” for God’s wisdom, and to attempt to live by it.  King Solomon’s reign began with God, gold, and glory.  It ended with bafflement, brass, and bewildered acceptance of man’s having “no preeminence over a beast”!–man, who was made “in the image and likeness of God (Gen. 1:27) and “but a little lower than God”! (Psalm 8:5).  Also that man was given “complete authority over all the earth” (Gen. 1:26).

THE WORD “SOPHIA” Greek Word for Wisdom:

The Three Meanings.

1.  In the usual meaning of wisdom, understanding; 

“And Jesus increased in wisdom (in broad and full understanding)”  (Luke 2:53 AMP).  “But wisdom is proved right by all her children”             (Luke 7:35 NIV).

2.  In the meaning of the wise economy of God in the creation of the world; in His Providence over the world and in the salvation of the world from sin:

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unfathomable (inscrutable, unsearchable) are His judgments (His decisions)! And how untraceable (mysterious, undiscoverable) are His ways (His methods, His paths)!    For who has known the mind of the Lord and who has understood His thoughts, or who has [ever] been His counselor?”  (Romans 11:33-34 AMP).

“But rather what we are setting forth is a wisdom of God once hidden [from the human understanding] and now revealed to us by God–[that wisdom] which God devised and decreed before the ages for our glorification [to lift us into the glory of His presence]”  (1 Corinthians 2:7 AMP).

3.  In relation to the Son of God (Jesus) as the “Hypo-statical Wisdom” of God:

“But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God,  [revealed to us knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness”  (1 Corinthians 1:30 AMP).

How Do You Use Godly Wisdom rather than Human Wisdom?

“But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle).  [It is willing to yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity)    And the harvest of righteousness (of conformity to God’s will in thought and deed) is [the fruit of the seed] sown in peace by those who work for and make peace [in themselves and in others, that peace which means concord, agreement, and harmony between individuals, with undisturbness, in a peaceful mind free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts]”  (James 3:17-18 AMP).

Questions to ask ourselves:

1.  How do you resolve issues in your life?

2.  How do you get your point across to others around you?

Most of us would like to think we are wise in our understanding.  We speak eloquently enough so the other person would understand what we are saying and that said, life would be great!  Unfortunately it doesn’t work out that way.  Many times there is a ‘blip’ in our communication and understanding, then an argument on whose right or wrong.

The Bible States What Godly Wisdom Really Is!  First, lets look a little deeper into what wisdom is and how to recognize it:

INSIGHT;  The ability to see things from a different perspective that many times others don’t see.  When we think of someone wise, we think of someone who’s scholarly; with much education.  But the Bible states that God will frustrate those who consider themselves wise and intelligent (those with human wisdom).

“For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing.  Where is the wise man (the philosopher)? Where is the scribe (the scholar)? Where is the investigator (the logician, the debater) of this present time and age? Has not god shown up the nonsense and the folly of this word’s wisdom?”  (1 Corinthians 1:19-20 AMP).

Why would God want to frustrate those who are educated and wise?

Human wisdom is limited and can only see and understand so far; where godly Wisdom transcends the limitations of the mind; it comes from someone much higher than ourselves; from One who knows more, sees more, understands more…God!

Humans make mistakes, misunderstands but God makes no mistakes and understands all things and yet…we who have been deemed righteous still are attracted by human wisdom.  I noticed a post on Facebook the other day that certainly was incredulous:

“Attended a lecture at Western Washington University tonight on philosophy & religion,

specifically about the problem of evil & suffering in the animal world (like animals killing each other).

The speakers were a biology & philosophy professors.  It was an enjoyable challenge to follow their lines of thought.”

Why would mature Christians go to a college lecture to answer questions about what the Word of God so aptly explains in Scripture? That is a rhetorical question: spiritual immaturity!  Since human wisdom comes from a limited mind; because man can become selfish and boastful claiming all thoughts as his own.  With godly Wisdom, though it is given, take no credit in their understanding of things…give glory to the One it came from…God.

With human wisdom, man only understands the physical, that which he can see.  But godly Wisdom is able to understand past the physical; to things that are unseen.  All because God gives up the wisdom to see things that are unseen to see things more clearly…what we are seeing in front of our faces.

“There is no [human] wisdom or understanding or counsel [that can prevail] against the Lord”  (Proverbs 21:30).

“He who leans on, trust in, and is confident of his own mind and heart is a [self-confident] fool, but he who walks in skillful and godly Wisdom shall be delivered”  (Proverbs 28:26).

“For I [Myself] will give you a mouth and such utterance and wisdom that all your foes combined will be unable to stand against or refute”  (Luke 21:15).

Where are you in your Christian walk regarding godly [Spiritual] Wisdom and understanding?

You might ask yourself right where you are, “I know I depend too much on human wisdom and understanding…so how do I obtain a greater understanding and wisdom in my life?  I certainly desire it!”

The Letter of James gives one of the best answers I could find in Scripture and hold close in my thinking:

“If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him”  (James 1:5 AMP).

Some key words spoken here by James:

1.  “any of you”  means exactly that; ‘any’ not just those that are ‘gifted’; church leaders; those who have been Christians forever, your Pastor.

2.  “let him/her ask”.  If you don’t ask you will never receive wisdom or anything else for that matter.

3.  A giving God who gives to everyone…liberally and ungrudgingly, without scolding because you asked Him!

“I came that they [you and I] may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)” ~ John 10:10

Can you imagine having Spiritual Wisdom and Understanding in abundance, to the full, till it overflows?

4.  The “If” s in Scripture are always conditional; IF you ask, IF you will do, IF anyone thinks himself to be religious, IF My people who are called by My name…

In the case of James 1:5, The IF is concluded by 4-words:  it will be given. Wisdom will be given to you in abundance if you asked;’ till it overflow’s!.


“And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ…Philippians 1:9-10 NKJV.


3 thoughts on “Human and Spiritual Wisdom, Understanding and The Differences

  1. Thanks for this great study on wisdom, very interesting. I was always very logical having a background in the sciences, one day God told me that it was all a mirage. Science can never prove anything as it is based on probability, all the so called facts can be disproved by just one anomaly. God’s truth is enduring, His wisdom perfect, I’m praying for more of this in my life.


    1. I was a Life Science Major and a DRAMA Minor in college. Wanted to be a Biology Teacher or a DRAMA Teacher in High School or in College. Met a great girl, got married and had three wonderful children instead. Still have an affinity to DRAMA though (written 5 plays with two performed locally and CD’s made of the performances)

      THANKS again for the follow-up!



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