I want to read a passage from the Bible to you tonight. No, I’m not about to start a sermon, nor preach at you, or try to convert you. Rather, regardless of your faith or beliefs, I’d ask that you listen carefully to the words.
The passage is from the book of Proverbs. Now, I’d argue that the book of Proverbs IS the manual for living life. The wisdom and advice in there is so good it ought to be a mandatory class in school. But that is a topic for another day.
Proverbs chapter 4, verse 7. Get knowledge and wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
We bring you a LOT of facts and news. But without understanding all of the information it becomes nothing more than trivia. And trivia only helps you on Friday nights at Buffalo Wild Wings Trivia Night or on Jeopardy when YOU are the contestant.
That’s why it becomes so critical to have solid principles to stand on and an understanding of the bigger picture and the longer game, only then does all the knowledge become important.
Without bedrock principles AND the understanding to go with the knowledge and wisdom you’ve gained, you’ve nothing left but trivia.
Understanding is the application of principles, wisdom, and knowledge. Without understanding, you’re simply a vessel full of trivia.
Gaining knowledge is great. It means you’re educating and informing yourself. Gaining wisdom to go with that knowledge expands the breadth of your learning. But understanding takes the breadth and width of education and allows you to apply it to the real world.
As you educate yourself, seek also to gain the understanding needed to apply that knowledge to the real world.
Lastly, as you gain understanding, I’d like to remind you of Stephen Covey’s advice on it. Seek first to understand, then to be understood.