Wisdom. Understanding. Knowledge.

“By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.” Proverbs 24:3-4

I was reading this verse this morning.  It is sort of a classic homemaker verse.  The kind you want to write on your doorpost.  I have a friend who writes verses on her walls before she paints rooms, this is the kind of verse you might want to know was written under the paint as you are raising a family.   But if you are like me you have read it, liked it but maybe not spent a lot of time thinking about it.  Today it struck me different and I have been thinking about it.

This passage seems to revolve around 3 foundations.  Wisdom, Understanding and knowledge.  What struck me was the order.  So often we assume knowledge comes first followed by understanding and wisdom.  But God puts wisdom first.  We build a house with wisdom, establish it with understanding and fill it with knowledge.

In our society knowledge is king.  We hear a lot about how smart people are.  We assume that knowledge automatically equals wisdom.  So we push our kids to study hard, excel in school, attend college.  And they graduate knowing a lot of information.  They are very knowledgeable.  But are they wise?  Do they understand?  We send them out in to the world with lots of knowledge but a house is built on wisdom.  They have the ability to beautifully fill rooms what rooms are they filling?  Do they have the ability to build the house?

This is particularly relevant topic to me in regard to my career.  You see, while most kids go to college to get the knowledge part of the equation right out of high school and then struggle to develop wisdom and understanding afterward, I did not finish college.  I went off to build and established my house.  In other words, got married at 19, had a baby at 23 and haven’t looked back at college since.  Which is not to say I gained no knowledge since I quit school.  I learned far more in my personal research and education since my son was born than I was learning in the classes I took right up until I got pregnant with him.  Unfortunately writing the list of books and web sites you have read on personal finance, health and nutrition, parenting or business leadership in the education section of your resume doesn’t really impress potential employers.

I am not going to lie to you, as I have gone back to work my lack of degree has definitely left me feeling a little intimidated.  Which is not to say I have any more desire to return to college at this stage of my life than I did before I returned to work, I am more than happy to let John handle that duty for our home, but I am aware of it in a way that never mattered when I was a homemaker and everyone just assumed I had a degree.  When they found out I didn’t they were always shocked, apparently I pull off knowledgeable fairly well.

This is why I find myself pursuing a career in a very non traditional way, by building my own business.  With a little low paying part time job on the side to help out while I establish myself.  And I am wondering if I can apply this verse on building, establishing and filling a house to building, establishing and filling a business.  I often find myself worrying that there is something I don’t know.  If only I was smarter, had a better education, knew more information, THEN I would know how to get this business off the ground faster, I would know how to work harder, I would be sure I would be successful.

But as I read today I am seeing that while knowledge does need to be a piece of it, wisdom and understanding are the things that will get my business built.  And while I may never have a degree I am not without knowledge and I am learning more every day as I build and establish my business.

Today God has validated something I have maybe known for years but could never articulate, knowledge does not equal wisdom or understanding.  And you need all 3 to make good decisions and establish a home.  Or a business.  So I am setting aside my insecurity over my lack of college degree and will rely on my wisdom and understanding to build and establish my home and business while continuing to learn and gain knowledge to fill it with rare and beautiful treasures.