Is there a difference?
I think “being smart” often relies on our own cognitive abilities.
“He sure is smart.”
“That was a smart solution you came up with.”
“What a smart thing to do!”
We tap into our own knowledge, be it through reading, studying or experiences.
When we are being wise, we rely on someone or something other than our own storehouse of knowledge to inform us, knowing our own limitations. That takes humility but also discernment.
The Apostle James wrote: “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” James 3:17
The more we embrace the wonder of God, the more we realize how inadequate we are without His guidance in our lives. Smartness relies on what you already have stored in your brain. Wisdom constantly seeks to learn, embrace and use knowledge from an outside source. For the believer, that source is our Lord.
It is good to be smart, whether from the street or from books. But how much better to gain wisdom from the One who created the universe and expressed complete love on the cross!
Lord of all wisdom, increase our desire to know You, to emulate You and to turn to You when we just do not understand. Help us to depend on Your Word instead of on those who pop into our own minds, so we can discern Your good and perfect will. Amen.
Thought: What situation or problem today is beyond your ability to figure out? Bring it before God in prayer. Ask for His wisdom.