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Posted on Oct 19, 2018

An Insightful Distinction Between Knowledge and Wisdom

An Insightful Distinction Between Knowledge and Wisdom

I’ll never forget when a wise leader and mentor of mine said, “Common sense isn’t so common.” Sadly, I’ve seen this statement proven true again and again.

Consider that today more Americans are more educated than ever before. We should be smarter and wiser than ever. Yet, with all this “knowledge” we continue to witness a tremendous lack of wisdom.

Here, I think Beth Moore has captured the issue perfectly, as outlined in a Values Quote I did a few years ago. May we finally begin to apply what we’ve learned in an insightful way.


Today’s quote is from Beth Moore, an American evangelist, author, and teacher.

Moore makes a thoughtful statement about wisdom:

“Wisdom is knowledge applied. Head knowledge is useless on the battlefield. Knowledge stamped on the heart makes one wise.”

What a great distinction between knowledge and wisdom.

As a differentiating value, Wisdom means applying relevant knowledge in an insightful way. It also means prudent and sensible.

However, if we apply the knowledge we’ve learned and keep making the same mistakes, then something is missing. Real wisdom remains elusive.

Only when we’ve applied what we’ve learned in an insightful way will it stick. It requires acting with care and thought for the future.

But how do we do that?

Sometimes it’s by good council. Others around us together confirm how best to apply the knowledge.

Sometimes it’s by intuition. Maybe we have a sense of how to apply the knowledge, and then we find out if we are right or wrong.

And sometimes it’s simply by experience. Touch the hot stove and you quickly learn that hurts.

When Moore references “knowledge stamped on the heart” I believe she is referring to experience. That tends to be the best form of acquiring wisdom that lasts.

Now the question is: how are you passing along the wisdom you’ve acquired to others? That too requires care and thought for the future.