This week I've been thinking a lot about wisdom because of a theology class I led this morning for which wisdom was the topic. And, I think I may have stumbled on a definition for wisdom: 

Wisdom is the ability to operate with an eternal perspective.

Lots of times we hear wisdom defined as "applied knowledge," which comes awfully close to "common sense," or "street smarts." I think it's bigger than that. Wisdom is an attribute of God (Job 36:5; Romans 16:27), and only begins with the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). Anyone  can apply knowledge, but those who seek wisdom must get it from God (Proverbs 2:6; James 1:5). 

The pursuit of wisdom is the pursuit of an ability to see things from the perspective of eternity - the way God sees them. It doesn't mean we know the end from the beginning. It doesn't mean we know why things happen the way they happen, or what will come next. It means we recognize that God is in control, working things towards culmination in Him (Ephesians 1:10), and we make decisions based on that understanding. 

Wisdom is the ability to separate the temporal from the eternal. It's the ability to see with eyes that recognize that this is not all there is. A "wise" decision is a decision made in light of eternity rather than a decision made in haste for today. 

Anyone can be street smart. Anyone can utter pithy statements that reflect a true application of knowledge. But those statements aren't in and of themselves wise. Wisdom - the kind of wisdom that cries in our busy streets (Proverbs 1:20)  sees beyond "simple ways" of the here and now(Proverbs 1:22), focusing instead on eternity.