Intelligence vs Wisdom

I have struggled with the distinction between these two words in my life. At times the difference was not always known to me. I also noticed that different people thought of these two words in different ways and some assume both words mean the same. I would like to share how I have come to internalize the distinction between these two words.

Intelligence allows me to navigate through modern society. What we call Intelligence changes between culture, demographic group, countries and different periods in human history. Intelligence is transitory because it changes based upon what a given group or society chooses to value. Intelligence is clothed in progressiveness and in the ability to make use of new information and in navigating the world from this perspective. Intelligence is sophisticated, trendy and hip.

Wisdom on the other hand is timeless. Wisdom describes the unchanging qualities that describe what it means to be fundamentally human. Wisdom is very simplistic yet profound. For instance, all humans seek and crave love, to understand and be understood, to be valued and respected. Humans are also challenged by other things such as fear, doubt regret, loss, jealousy, anger and sadness. These qualities are unchanging because they describe a human in our modern society and also in ancient Rome. Wisdom lives in the ability to see the unchanging nature of the qualities of being human and navigating the world based on that perspective.

Ideally we have both. We should seek to gain information that gives us the intelligence to understand the world that we find ourselves in. We should also seek out the Wisdom to understand the nature of Timeless and Universal Truths. A balanced mind demands that we have both qualities of thought. I believe that there is a God who created the universe. I also believe the the concept of God cannot be understood from the Intelligent mind alone. In the Intelligent mind, God is an abstract concept. The concept of God can only be understood from the quality of thought where Wisdom lives. Seek intelligence only and you will be one cool person convinced of your own superiority with an abstract concept of God. Seek Wisdom as well and you will see the evidence of His timeless Wisdom moving and guiding you in your life!