The Cost of Wisdom


Ecclesiastes 1:18 “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.”

I was very young when I first started in evangelism. I was only twenty-one years of age, and here I was preaching to people much older than myself. One of the common statements I heard as a young evangelist was that I preached beyond my years. What they were saying was that I was not preaching like a twenty-one-year-old, but as if I were an older man. How did this happen? The reason this happened was because I was wise enough not to attempt to be my own man and show everyone how smart I was, but I was wise enough to build on what I had learned as a preacher’s son throughout the years. Instead of wasting my time complaining about being a preacher’s son, I learned every lesson God gave me while under my dad so that I could be a help to others. These lessons were not easy to learn. We went through six church splits, moved several times, and fought many battles, but wisdom was learned through each of these things. The cost for this wisdom was the battles we had to go through. Let me give you several thoughts about the cost of wisdom.

First, wisdom is not free. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” Yes, God will give you wisdom if you ask Him for it, but there is a cost to the wisdom that God is going to give to you. What is that cost? The verse above shows the cost when it says, “For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.” God is simply showing that you have to pay the price to get His wisdom.

Second, wisdom comes through tough experiences. Notice that the cost of wisdom is “grief” and “sorrow.” Every situation you face in life is there for you to learn. You can gripe about the hard times you have had to face, or you can take advantage of them by learning the wisdom that God is trying to teach you through those hard times. The wisest of people have had to face the toughest of times because wisdom is learned through the battles and not on the playground. You can play through life and be as dumb as a pile of rocks, or you can face your heartaches and battles and learn from them and gain the wisdom that God has for you to help others through them.

Third, you can lessen your grief by building on another’s wisdom. Here is the best part about wisdom; I don't have to go through all the grief that others have gone through to get their wisdom IF I will learn from their experiences. I didn't have to go through all that my dad went through to gain his wisdom; I just had to be observant enough and teachable enough to learn from his experiences. One of the greatest mistakes many in the present younger generation make is that they are throwing out the past to prove their own worth, but by throwing out the past, you are losing the wisdom you can learn from them. My friend, don't try to recreate the wheel, but gain the wisdom from those who have already fought those battles and build upon it.

My admonition to you is not to waste your grief by not learning the wisdom God has for you to learn through your battles and the battle of others, but let these battles give you the wisdom you need to be a greater help to others. In every heartache and battle is wisdom to be learned. If you will stop griping about the heartaches and battles, you can learn the wisdom these want to teach you.

Dr. Allen Domelle

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