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Wisdom vs. Knowledge
The following was written by Erik Daniels, EVP of the Ronald Blue Trust Family Office located in Atlanta, Georgia.
Have you ever had a conversation that you just can’t get out of your mind?
Recently, I was speaking with a very successful professional in the Atlanta area. As a significant contributor to his professional firm, he was justifiably proud of his, and the firm’s, accomplishments. As we discussed his firm’s capabilities and expertise, he continued to add color to our conversation by talking about how intelligent and knowledgeable his partners were. In fact, he believed that his firm had some of the sharpest and most knowledgeable partners in his profession; he would stack them up against any competitor. On the strength of his confidence alone, he convinced me that his assessment must be accurate.
That evening, I could not stop thinking about our conversation. I have to admit that I was somewhat intimidated by it. Why? Was I jealous of how knowledgeable his partners were in their respective fields? It’s certainly possible. After all, I desire for others to see me the same way. What if I simply don’t measure up to them? Could it be that I was envious of his firm and its capabilities? Does our company measure up to his firm?
I wrestled with this apparent envy until the next day when clarity began to take shape. I’m certain that my friend’s firm is excellent in what they do, and they likely deserve the outstanding reputation they enjoy. However, I realized that one word was not mentioned in our conversation: wisdom.
While intelligence and knowledge are important, it is wisdom that filters that knowledge in a manner that results in wise and thoughtful decisions. The world celebrates intelligence, but it often discounts wisdom.
Why is wisdom so important? Wisdom gives us the ability to handle and manage life skillfully. It’s how you know when to have a difficult conversation with a family member or friend and when to extend grace. It’s knowing what you can control in life and what you have to leave to God. It’s recognizing that the greatest asset a family has is its relationships and then intentionally spending time and money to build and cultivate those relationships.
In business, you need wisdom when your company is going through a difficult time and you have long-time employees who rely on that steady paycheck. Wisdom allows us to make the right decision at the right time for the right reason.
Wisdom requires that we remain intellectually curious. It is acquired and honed by reflection, humility, a thorough understanding of ourselves and, most importantly, an intimate relationship with God. We cannot apply wisdom without knowledge, but in the long run, wisdom proves invaluable in most decisions.
Ronald Blue Trust strives to hire women and men of professional excellence and technical proficiency. Scripture tells us, “Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29, NASB).
In addition, we go to great lengths to train and develop our staff to embrace wisdom as a core value. We want to be excellent in all we do, but we prayerfully ask for something with greater discernment: wisdom. Our aim is to humbly serve our clients—and each other—with integrity, excellence, respect, and faithful stewardship. Above all, we aim to provide our clients “Wisdom for Wealth. For life.”
At Ronald Blue Trust, we provide our clients with wealth management strategies based on biblical principles to help our clients make wise financial decisions, live generously, and leave a lasting legacy. To learn more about how we can serve you, contact your Ronald Blue Trust advisor, call 800.987.2987, or email
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