Book Smart or Street Smart

Published: Monday, February 8, 2021

The more I gain Godly wisdom and knowledge, the more my heart breaks.  I can understand why Solomon says that life can be an unhappy business when it is in the world.  I see every day situations of people striving to understand in their own minds.    This world is busy with the noise of self accomplishment, self promotion, and self centeredness.  Wisdom is realizing that God is in control.  Wisdom is not trying to straighten out the crookedness that has been put there intentionally by God.  Wisdom is being ok with God taking account for all things in this world and relying on His judgement, mercy, grace and empathy to change hearts and lives. 

The road to wisdom is what you make of it

Solomon soaked up all the nuances of learning.  Perhaps he was the first professional “student”.  I often work with people who are “book smart” but not “street smart”.  This is kind of how I think about Solomon and reflect about many things in my life:

The book smart person:

  • Spouts streams of knowledge without application
  • Argues over the nuances and lets the main point get away
  • Always has to speak and seldom listens
  • All is vanity

The street smart person:

  • Practically applies what they learn
  • Has a focus on the important need at the time
  • Listens carefully and makes decisions based upon multiple inputs
  • Knowledge is about survival

The ultimate wisdom I am starting to understand is one where my life is ordered by God’s direction.  Every question, action, and thought is put through the filter of God’s will and what comes out is made pure.  My goal then is not to pollute or dilute  the end result, rather trust and obey.