Types of Wisdom


What is wisdom? What is intelligence? When people think about intelligence or wisdom, the first direction they usually go towards is education and schooling. This is because our society invests so much time and money into school in order to obtain better jobs. School is definitely an indication of wisdom, but not the only one. Schooling alone does not impress me at all. I don’t care if you have five or six degrees and have a prestigious job. I want wisdom from God and to do His work. That being said, I have divided wisdom into several categories:

1. Book Smart – education/school
2. Memory
3. Street Smart – decision making, crisis management, communication, leadership

James 3:13-18 – Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (ESV)

Book Smart

Education is definitely an important part of wisdom. I myself have been through many years of school. However, I have found that people tend to stick you in a box based on your level of education. They assume the more book smart you are, the less street smart you are, and thus less social.

I came up with a list of majors in order of difficulty. These apply to Undergraduate, Graduate, and PhD degrees. Note that the purpose of this list is to show how society puts us in categories, which are not necessarily true. I have met many people that are very smart, but simply chose an easy degree.

1. Communication – widely considered the easiest major, I will talk more about this later

2. Non Math/Science – Education, Language, English, Music, Religion, Sociology, Anthropology, Art, History, Philosophy, Psychology, Fitness, Health, Economics, Business

3. Math – Math, Physics, Chemistry, Forensics

4. Biology – Physiology, Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Molecular Biology, Human Biology, Marine Biology

5. Engineering – Structural, Mechanical, Computer Science, Electrical, Aerospace

6. Bioengineering – application of biology to build medical devices

The field of medicine is different because it tends to be separate from most colleges and universities, especially in the U.S. Here is the list in order of difficulty:

1. EMT – Emergency Medical Technician, works in an ambulance, requires only a 2-6 week course, no college degree

2. Paramedic – an advanced EMT, requires 6 months of school, no college degree

3. Nurse – requires 2-4 years of nursing school

4. Semi-Doctor – Dentist, Pharmacist, Optometrist, Physician’s Assistant, Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, requires a 4 year undergraduate degree, plus 2-4 years of graduate school in the speciality

5. Doctor – medical degree, requires a 4 year undergraduate degree, 4 years in medical school, and 4-6 years in residency, although you have a “degree” after medical school, you need to go through residency in order to practice medicine, in which you only receive a salary of about 30k

Colossians 4:14 – Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. (ESV)

Luke is perhaps one of the most “book smart” characters in the Bible because he is a physician. If you compare Luke’s account of the Gospel to Matthew, Mark, and John, it is more detailed and gives the best picture of what happened.

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