The Three Tools of Knowledge
IQ Tests, State Standards, Global Comparisons, Education Levels. In so many ways our world attempts to measure intelligence. The problem is intelligence is soo complex. Intelligence is not merely the amount of knowledge known, but creativity, fortitude, teachability, among many other things. But even if we take the one area of intelligence that is usually tested, knowledge, even then the complexity is too much to measure by a mere test.
If knowledge was all it took to be intelligent, then no genius would be a couch-potato, exceptionality would never be lost in the drab of life, intellect would always be utilized to it’s fullest potential. Anything less would be unintelligible. But knowing something is not all there is to it.
Here are some scenarios to support this:
- A child witnesses a fire start in the house.
The knowledge is there, a fire has started. But the child does not know what to do with the knowledge.
- A child knows that water makes electric fires worse and witnesses the fire has started in the house.
The knowledge is there, but the child does not know if this is the right time to use this knowledge.
- A child knows the fire is not electric and that water will put out the fire, but the fire is so big.
The knowledge is there, but the child does not know if this situation is where action will help or not.
These three situations hopefully show that: “Knowledge is useless unless you have the wisdom to know how to use it, the understanding to know where to use it and the discernment to know when to use it”
For clarity, here is the dictionary definitions.
Knowledge - facts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education.
Wisdom - the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of such experience, knowledge, and good judgment.
Understanding - to perceive the intended meaning of.
Discernment - the ability to judge well.
In other words, knowledge is the bare facts. Wisdom is the application of those facts. Understanding is knowing the intentions and thus where it is used. Discernment is the ability to judge when to use it.
What do these three tools look like?
How do we gain such useful tools?
Believe it or not, the Bible has a lot to say on the subjects.