As I continue my series on the gifts of the Spirit, I want to say that there is a difference between knowledge and wisdom, and there is also a difference between having knowledge and having a gift of knowledge.
The difference between knowledge and wisdom is that knowledge is defined as “acts, information, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject” while wisdom is defined as “the soundness of an action or decision with regard to the application of experience, knowledge, and good judgment.”
Did you catch the keyword in the definition of wisdom? “Application.” You see, we can all have plenty of knowledge, but without wisdom we won’t know how to apply the knowledge that we are given. And you can learn about the gift of wisdom here.
There is also a difference between having knowledge and having the gift of knowledge. You see, we all have knowledge. We all learn at school, we learn from books, and we learn from life experiences. Everything that we learn is knowledge. However, those who have the gift of knowledge learn more easily than we do and can remember what they learned more easily than those without the gift.
I don’t have this gift, though as I said in my other post I do have the gift of wisdom. I don’t learn everything easily. There are some things I can learn quickly, while others I struggle a lot more. I also can’t remember everything I’ve learned. I remember Scripture more than anything else because I’ve been studying it for so long and continue to study it a great deal. I remember songs (we all do) because I sing them so often. But, unless I am actively memorizing, the only things I really remember are things that interest me, so they stick out in my mind. But I do not remember everything I read or learn.
I have met Christians who have the gift of knowledge. They learn things easily, usually the first time someone shows them how to do something, or the first time they read a book, and then they can recite it back to you easily as well. Because I have met Christians with this gift I know that it not only exists, but it exists exactly as I am describing it. It truly is amazing to meet people who remember almost everything they read or hear or learn, and who learn so quickly. Yes, it’s also a little frustrating at first because if we don’t have the gift, we can’t do the same and there have been times where I would feel jealous. But, now that I know it is a gift from God, there’s no reason to be jealous because I have my own gifts from the Lord and I choose to be satisfied with them and not want what someone else has (not covet).
Now, no gift is greater or less than another gift. They are all helpful and useful to the Lord God and to His children when we allow Him to use them for His glory. However, many of our gifts work very well together. For example, if you have the gift of knowledge, it works very well with the gifts of wisdom and discernment. Wisdom tells you how to apply the knowledge you have, and discernment lets you know when you need to use that knowledge and when to stay silent.
Here’s a more detailed example. If I were friends with someone with the gift of knowledge, let’s say she learns all about how we, as Christians, should live our lives. She memorizes the Scriptures, has looked up all other Scriptures related to it, and now has a ton of knowledge on this subject. We go to small group and she wants to tell everyone everything she has learned, even condemning some for not living the way they should. But, because I have the gifts of wisdom and discernment, I can help her. I can tell her that wisdom says not to speak unless led by the Holy Spirit because some people aren’t ready for certain truths and some will only feel condemned or angry. Discernment tells us when to speak, when the Holy Spirit has readied someone’s heart for a certain truth or knowledge. But until then, wisdom says to stay silent.
I hope this makes sense to you guys! I pray you all have a blessed week!
Please post your thoughts in the comments below, especially if you have the gift of knowledge. I would love to hear more from someone with that specific gift!
I love you all!