Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. (Proverbs 4:7)
Repeatedly Solomon, the wisest person to ever live, advises to seek wisdom, to gain wisdom, to live a life of wisdom. Wisdom has been defined as applied knowledge. An oft repeated phrase is knowledge is power, but this is simply not the case.
We are overloaded with knowledge, bombarded second by second with information of all types. Knowledge is potential power, but as Anthony Robbins relates, it is when we take action based on what we know that real power is found.
Dr. Mike Brown shares that in Proverbs 4:7, wisdom is called the principal thing. The word principal is a military term that refers to the commander in chief of the army. It means the first of origin, the first in order, the first in impact, and the first in rank.
When Solomon defines wisdom as the principal thing, he is saying in the strongest terms possible that it is the most important thing, it is the number one thing to seek, it is the number one thing that will lead to a life of fulfillment and intelligent decision making. You can learn more about biblical wisdom at Cleveland's Life Changers Church.
There is a leadership lesson that says we learn to make good decisions by experience. How does one get experience? By making bad decisions. Wisdom is there to help us glean the lessons from our mistakes and our successes. When people fail to learn from their bad decisions, they will continue to repeat them until they learn the lesson they have ignored.
There is a Chinese proverb that reads, “Only dead fish swim with the flow of the river.” Those who are awake, those who are conscious, learn to see things from a new vantage point. They don’t keep doing the same things over and over if they are not producing the results they want in life. They apply wisdom to their learning and grow from each experience.
As Oscar Wilde shared, “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.” Though Wilde was being tongue-in-cheek about wealth, the reality is that with wisdom we are only satisfied with our own personal best. We live with a high standard of excellence and expectation for ourselves, and we let wisdom guide us to where we need to most place our energies.
In his book Nothing is Impossible, author and life coach Tom Oliver shares that to stay on track he writes the number 1 in the palm of his left hand. This serves as a reminder to focus on the number one priority in each major life area. This is wisdom, this is applied knowledge, this is one of the keys to fulfillment. It is easy to get distracted, how much different life truly is when we focus on what matters and make wisdom the principal thing.