Wisdom is the application of comprehended information.
(Information + Knowledge) x Application = Wisdom
Information that you have been given needs to be understood. Once it has been understood it then turns into Knowledge. When we now face situations and you apply the knowledge this is wisdom. But here is the question: What is your information source?
Often times the source of information starts with our own thoughts and concepts about ourselves and the environments we are in. However, the question still stands, what is your information source?
In the world of Cognitive Behavioural Therapies we are lead to understand that there are three main areas of Cognition, or thinking.
1: Negative Automatic Thoughts (NATs) – There are the thoughts that we have that we don’t have to create. They just appear as a response to something that has happened to us or within us. These thoughts often go un-noticed if we are not paying particular attention to our thoughts. They also have the potential to pass through our minds so quickly and frequently that they become a “normal” state of thinking. These thoughts are often plausible and are considered truth especially if they are emotionally driven.
One of the crucial steps to dealing with these thoughts and ways of thinking is to stop swallowing these NATs so that you can step back and consider the accuracy of the thoughts remembering that “Thoughts are opinions, not facts; and like all opinions they may or may not be accurate”.
2: Core Beliefs – This is the other end of our thinking and represents our baseline beliefs, the rock bottom core elements of ourselves. These often are expressed in absolute statements like “I am..” or “People are”, “Those kinds of people are…”. These are fundamental truths that we hold about ourselves and those around us that we then apply to situations (again, the information we turn into knowledge and use as wisdom). These are usually formulated during childhood, however can be created further on in life as a result of traumatic events or heavy experiences. Often represented as an unseen self.
3: Dysfunctional Assumptions (DAs) – These are the the thoughts that bridge the gap between NATs and our Core Beliefs and are considered the rules we apply to life and living. They usually turn up in statements such as “If ….then….”, or “should/must” statements. These are considered dysfunctional as they are very rigid ways of thinking and usually over generalised, not flexible enough to deal with the variations of life.
Somewhere between these three states we are fed with information about ourselves and the world we live in. And if not challenged these then drive our actions and reactions to life and events we encounter. Now I’ve considered Psychological Teachings – but understand that the Bible covered this a long time ago – in full – with advice on how to address these thoughts.
Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he”. Proverbs 4:23 ” Above all else, guard your heart, for out of it flows the issues of life”. Matthew 12:34 “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks”
These scriptures and many many more lead us to see and understand that there is something very important about the way we think and what we do and how we live. CBT Fundamental basics can be correlated to basic principles found in the Bible.
The scriptures tell us that we need to be careful of what we allow into our heart, because from it flows the issues of life. We need to guard what we allow into our heart because some way, some how it will impact our outlook and wisdom. Scriptures also let us know that the way we are (present, turn up, manifest) is directly related to the way that we think. Not what we wear, not where we go, not what we do.. but what we think.
So there is something very important to consider about the information that we have that is forming our knowledge and impacting out version of wisdom. An example. If you have a Core Belief that says “I am useless and undeserving of love”, it’s likely that the NATs are going to be say “I am boring, I don’t have anything to offer. I am useless and no one can love me. They don’t like me”. Then between these two states of thinking – bridging the gap are the DAs. These will suggest “If people get to know the real me they will quickly see that I am useless and boring. If I do what they want me to do, then they will like me and not know that I actually have no use.”. The result of this information and knowledge is a person who is withdrawn, low self esteem, people pleasing at the sacrifice of self worth and value and for them this is wise living. But clearly the information was wrong, so the knowledge is flawed an so actions will be incorrect.
So my question to you is to do a little self analysis. What are your Core Beliefs? What are the NATs that wonder around your mind from time to time, and what are the DAs that are holding these two together.
Romans 12:2 lets us know that transformation takes place with a renewal of the mind. Again, not the outward, superficial aspects of our lives, but our mind needs need to be renewed for the transformation of our lives..