Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding, but a rod is for the back of him who is devoid of understanding. (Proverbs 10:13)
The book of Proverbs repeatedly speaks of Wisdom, knowledge and understanding—with understanding being the greatest of these. There are those who have a lot of Bible knowledge, but they have it without understanding and therefore are unable to rightly apply it. And rightly applied knowledge is wisdom. The apostle Paul tells us, “We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up…” Knowledge is the ability to know. Wisdom is the ability to apply what you know. Understanding is to have experienced what you know and to be able to comprehend the “how” and the “why” of a situation. It is impossible to show mercy and to have real compassion without understanding. Without it we more than often wrongly apply the knowledge we have, our timing will be way off and our words will be shallow. The greatest value of understanding is that it understands when it does not understand.