Quotes on Wisdom

The Sunday sermon explored what God says about wisdom. The devotional resource has you looking at primary passages in the Old and New Testaments that explore the path to wisdom.

Here are some quotes from other sources about the importance of wisdom.

You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.

–Marianne Williamson

Williamson is a prolific and best-selling author. I certainly do not resonate with many things she says, but this is a byte of wisdom for all of us.

This thought reminds us of the importance of the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2). In that passage Paul talks about being transformed by the renewing of your mind. You need new and better thoughts as the foundation for a new and better way to live.

For example, “Jesus is not Lord” needs to be replaced by “Jesus is Lord” if you are to then move into a new way of trusting, loving, and following Jesus.



A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid leader. He lingered in prison for many years and, in prison, he found a new way of wisdom. He would no longer look for a violent overthrow of that unjust system. He would work for forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing as the path forward. He became the first black president of South Africa from 1994-1999.

Mandela knew the power of a good heart and a good head.

My friend Byron Borger has a book store that has the right name—Hearts and Minds. God is concerned about both, and together they are powerful. In Paul’s spirituality, he merges them together. He prays that the “eyes of our heart would be enlightened.” We want truth in our inmost being. Head, heart, and hands come together, and that is true wisdom.

By the way, check out this very good book: Mandela’s Way: Fifteen Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage by Richard Stengel.

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

–T.S. Eliot, The Rock

Eliot is one of the great poets and essayists of the 20th century. He had a profound Christian faith, which is seen in this insight.

We need wisdom, but we settle for knowledge. But knowledge is the building block for wisdom. Unfortunately, we need knowledge but we settle for information.

Eliot said that in 1934. Talk about being a prophet who saw what was to come! Today, we live in a time of explosive amounts of information, but little knowledge of how to interpret that data. And then, there is even less wisdom about becoming good people, having good relationships, and building good organizations.

Indeed, we have lost much … and we are lost. Part of the mission of Living Word is to give you the best knowledge about God and life, and then to help you engage with that biblical knowledge in ways that lead to wisdom.

The unexamined life is not worth living. [AND] The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.


Here are two quotes from one of the original philosophers. Socrates is known as the father of Western philosophy. These two quotes are both well-known, almost having a proverbial status.

The unexamined life means we do not have knowledge or wisdom about ourselves.

The only true wisdom quote directs us toward humility as the way to learn wisdom. It is the 4th century BC equivalent of knowing the right answer to this question: Are you smarter than a 5th grader?  Wisdom suggests the answer is NO. So start to listen, read, think, converse, and learn.



He who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.


This is another way of encouraging humility from the ancient Chinese philosopher. Over the years, I have read the wisdom sayings from many of the world religions and philosophies.

Confucius is intriguing, but in many ways (obviously) his wisdom diverges from Christianity. Confucius was most interested in pragmatic ways of living that promote harmony.

And he was a constant advocate for HUMILITY.

I like this Christian quote that plays around with questions and answers. You often hear that Jesus is the answer. He is. So if Jesus is the answer, then what are the questions?

Ask questions. Ask good questions. Keep asking questions. The pursuit of wisdom is a journey. You find bits and pieces of wisdom the longer you walk, think, ponder, and listen.

This is most true of Christianity itself. Christianity is the intersection of God’s life with the human life. That intersection is full of mystery. It is messy. It is magnificent.

Christianity is not irrational, but there are parts of it that are supra-rational. God is bigger than your understanding of God. You know in part, but only in part. His ways are not your ways.

I have always followed the dictum of the ancient theologian who wrote: “Lord, I believe that I may understand.” In other words, about the mysterious and wonderful truth of your ways, I start with faith, hope, and love, and then seek to understand.

Keep seeking wisdom, and that means, keep seeking Jesus, who is the source of all Wisdom.

Pastor Brian

Tomorrow starts a three-part series that looks at one of the most important questions we can ask.

How do we as followers of Jesus, who are saved by grace, now engage with the wisdom-law-commandments of God? On this question, there is a lot of confusion. I’ll try to help you gain more biblical wisdom on this.

Brian Rice
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