Losing Wisdom in the Quest for Knowledge

Someone once asked: “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? In Western culture, the idea of possessing “knowledge” has endured from generation to generation, but how important is seeking “true wisdom” in our culture? According to the 18th century Anglican evangelist and founder of the Wesleyan Tradition and author of Explanatory Notes, John Wesley stated that when one does not have “true wisdom,” he or she is unstable (double-minded), perpetually disagreeing with both himself and others. He wrote:“ For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed…Yea, such are all who have not asked and obtained wisdom.” 

The Greek word “dipsuchos” is translated as “double-minded.” James 1:8 says that “a double- minded man is unstable in all his ways.” The Apostle used the term to describe someone who is divided in his loyalties, uncertain, half-hearted, and two-faced. This kind of person is usually in a compromised state-whether the end results of the thinking involve one personally or include someone else. In other words, one without sound knowledge or wisdom can expect to be someone who wavers, or is indecisive about life’s choices. In verse 22, James goes on to explain how double-mindedness can affect one’s attitude and character, and proposes that a person of character and wisdom lives beyond his passions, for feelings can be deceiving. The application of “true wisdom,” then, stabilizes and guides one through the difficult challenges of life. “True wisdom,” especially the knowledge and wisdom contained within Hebrew Scripture, gives the reader a sense of purpose and direction.