Adam and Eve saw that the tree of knowledge of good and bad was "desirable for gaining wisdom" (Gn 3:6). They wanted knowledge but not wisdom, for true wisdom is obedient (see Prv 1:28-33). Sin and rebelliousness never lead to true wisdom.
Some members of the church of Thyatira wanted to know the " 'deep secrets' of Satan" (Rv 2:24). Whether due to sinfulness or the desire to know Satan's plan so they could try to expel him more specifically, this "knowledge" (1 Cor 8:1) is not wisdom. "Wisdom like this does not come from above. It is earthbound, a kind of animal, even devilish, cunning" (Jas 3:15). Personal knowledge or experience of evil is not true wisdom. "Wisdom from above, by contrast, is first of all, innocent" (Jas 3:17).
Paul corrected those Colossians who made "a certain show of wisdom in their affected piety, humility, and bodily austerity" (Col 2:23). Some of these folks sought to know "cosmic powers" rather than Jesus (Col 2:8), much like New Agers today. "The chief effect" of this type of wisdom is pride (Col 2:23). Seeking religious wisdom, scientific information, or self-knowledge apart from the Lord is not true wisdom, for wisdom is the image of God (Wis 7:26).
We won't become wise by collecting more information or experiences. We gain wisdom by growing in our relationship with Jesus, for He is "our Wisdom" (1 Cor 1:30). "Get wisdom" (Prv 4:7). Accept Jesus as your Wisdom, Lord, Savior, and God.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2005 through November 30, 2005.
†Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 21, 2005.