Ministerial Memos

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 by Dan Allen

So I was privileged to work with one of the Sons in service prep for an upcoming Sunday. I’m preaching at his church and it was rewarding to get together and discuss various parts of the service.

He noted that his sermon for that Sunday evening is on the genre of “wisdom” from the book of Psalms. Quickly I remembered the only quote in my memory bank comparing “wisdom” from “knowledge.” I’m sure you’ve heard it – “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” 

That got me thinking; when preparing for a sermon I often go to my quote files to see if anything fits. I used to have books with quotes . . . probably still do in boxes in the garage. My dad had quite a collection of illustration and quote books which were acquired after he died. For a number of years I’ve been digitally collecting quotes from stuff I read in the newspaper, online, hear from others, etc. 

In an “Illustration” file I have a sub-file called “Quotes.” This I’ve alphabetized into further sub-files with general titles emboldened and then the quotes from authors/speakers in alphabetical order. For instance, in the “WXYZ” file I have such topics as: “Waiting,” “Walking,” “War,” “Weakness,” “Wealth,” etc.

To follow is what I have under “Wisdom.” 

Might I humbly suggest you create something that works for you in this regard? It’s great to have a resource like this. When you are reading something and see a passage or phrase that is a good quote, circle it, jot-it-down or do something with it so that you can add it to your computer file later.

I’d be happy to send all the quotes I’ve gleaned over the years if we can figure out a way to do so . . . it’s a lot!


“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad” -- Anonymous

“Wisdom comes alone, through suffering.” --Aeschylus

“Let us cry for the spilt milk, by all means, if by doing so we learn how to avoid spilling any more. Let us cry for the spilt milk, and remember how, and where, and why, we spilt it. Much wisdom is learnt through tears, but none by forgetting our lessons.” -- Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton

“A man begins cutting his wisdom teeth the first time he bites off more than he can chew.” -- Herb Caen

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordy evidence of the fact.” -- George Eliot

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.” -- Benjamin Franklin 

“Wisdom consists not so much in knowing what to do in the ultimate as knowing what to do next.”-- Herbert Hoover

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.” -- William James

“He has room for people with very little sense, but He wants every one to use what sense they have.” -- C. S. Lewis (in Mere Christianity)

“It's so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say and then don't say it.” -- Sam Levenson

“Doubt is often the beginning of wisdom.” - M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled and Beyond (Simon & Schuster), as quoted by Readers Digest, July 1998.

“It wasn't until late in life that I discovered how easy it is to say 'I don't know'.” -- W. Somerset Maugham

“The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” --William Shakespeare 

“Have more than thou showest, speak less than thou knowest.” -- William Shakespeare

“Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better. Don't wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills. Don't wish for less challenges, wish for more wisdom.” -- Earl Shoaf

“Wisdom is looking at life from God's point of view. You look at life's difficulties and tests as God looks at them. You look at family life and child rearing as God looks at them. You interpret current events as God would interpret them. You see the truth even though all around you are deception and lies.” -- Chuck Swindoll

“Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing does - except wrinkles. It's true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place.” -- Abigail Van Buren

“The wisdom acquired with the passage of time is a useless gift unless you share it.” -- Esther Williams 

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