Webster says that it is synonymous with "perspicacity", so I looked that up, too. After all, when's the last time YOU used "perspicacity" in a sentence. Apparently it means "insight", the ability to see beneath the surface. It also means having good sense, good judgment.
I would say that wisdom is the effective use and application of knowledge; the ability to put what you know to work for you in a beneficial and productive manner.
The Bible speaks of two different categories of wisdom; the wisdom that we often see in play among criminals, and the wisdom that is supposed to govern our actions and attitudes. The Bible says (James 3) that one category is heavenly, while the other is demonic.
The trouble is that when I take a careful look at my own attitudes and decision-making process what I see is often a blend of the two.
The Bible that says that the wisdom which "comes from above" is; "pure, peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy."
All too often my actions and attitudes are tainted by an unwillingness to yield. I also tend to spend more time with (show partiality toward) people I like, than I do with people who annoy and aggravate me. I am not always peaceable, gentle, full of mercy, or pure.
In short, I'm human.
That's not an excuse, just a fact. You and I will never hit the mark all the time, but we need to be at least aiming at the target. And in order to do that we need to adjust our sights every so often, because far too much of our society isn't aiming at heavenly wisdom at all, and that rubs off on us via TV, radio, print media, and friendships.
I told a business partner once that I had made the mistake of trusting a subordinate too much, and he had proven to be untrustworthy. My partner's reply was that healways trusted people - to do whatever they believed was best for them. Generally speaking, it's true that most of the people around us are "looking out for number one".
But James 3 tells us that this sort of wisdom is "earthly, sensual, demonic." He goes on to say that "where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there."
When you find yourself focusing on what's "best for me", or envying a coworker, family member, neighbor, whatever - remember where THAT category of wisdom originates and what it produces in the end. And then take a step back, exercise some perspicacity, and realign your sights...
- Pastor Robert Fountain