The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. (Prov 1:7, ESV)
Unbelievers, while being just as able as believers to obtain knowledge, do not thoroughly understand what something means in the long run. Based on this, Christians have a higher purpose for this, as cited in Phil 2:4 (ESV):
Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Fundamentally, we can all use our knowledge bases for the common good, and to advance the kingdom of God. Whatever your area of expertise is, there is somewhere you can fulfill the needs and demands of whom you serve.
On a personal level, knowledge compounds and inter-plays with previously learned knowledge prior to the newer information. Whether its a mere pronunciation difference or a topic that builds on something you learned 20 years ago (making for a great review LOL), knowledge is always useful to some extent.
But first of all, let’s discuss what this thing called “wisdom.” Basically, it is living within God’s parameters of earthly existence to survive and thrive. This is not the same as actual “earthly” wisdom. James describes the difference like this:
Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. (James 3:13-18)
“Heavenly” wisdom comes only through the Holy Spirit, through prayer, Scripture reading, preaching, and other means of grace. Thus Christians have a fuller awareness of doing what is best as their clock on earth ticks.
And as in all things, moderation. Ecclesiastes (a Biblical wisdom book, which, like Proverbs, is attributed to Solomon) illustrates when you should draw the line on certain things, such as pleasure, work, and learning. Yes, we share this terrestrial ball. But not forever. So while you should enjoy things on this earth, don’t get too absorbed in them. For example, Eccl. 12:12 puts secular study like this:
Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.
Learning is good, and is something we do whether we like it or not. But if you study with selfish ambition, that is basically folly. Yet when done in moderation (as with all your tasks), understanding our natural world (or any other area(s) of knowledge) can bear great benefit. By the way, since Solomon’s time, “books” have met their rival distant cousin: the Internet. Gutenberg sure helped, though.
Wow, now we have made a bridge between a number of areas of thought! Would you like to buy it? (It’s far cheaper than Brooklyn’s for sure!)