By Christopher Simon

Wisdom & Humility Are Complementary

“But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.”  ~ James 3:17 NIV

There is a natural tendency to feel proud when we know things that others don’t, and we can be tempted to show off our knowledge. A significant difference between wisdom and knowledge is that wisdom does not make us prideful, whereas knowledge tends to do so. 

Most careers require us to know things and know how to do things that others don’t, and so it’s fitting and proper for us to have that knowledge or know-how in our lives. But wisdom counsels humility. Wisdom is having perspective, good judgement, and understanding how to prioritize what really matters in life, and using it for the benefit of yourself and others.

Wise people have selfknowledge, understanding both their strengths and weaknesses.They have a broader perspective and are never narrowminded, and yet they can get to the heart of important problems, and are willing and able to help others do it as well. The wise person doesn’t force his or her advice on others or lord it over them, unlike the knowledgeable person,who may feel resentful when his superior knowledge or advice isn’t taken seriously. Wisdom by its very nature makes us humble, because we realize how frail and fleeting our lives are.