As a general rule, the most successful man in life is the man who has the best information.
For many years, I displayed this quotation, from the former British prime minister, on my biography page of one of my professional websites. It was a pithy statement and on an informational website like mine, appeared to be a good fit. There is truth in this statement but only a partial truth. The veracity of the statement hinges upon the definition of “successful.” Knowledge is important and one element of success, but it is the application and use of knowledge, the wisdom, that is paramount.
The Apostle Paul was one of the best educated men of his day. He listed his credentials in several books of the New Testament. He was a student of Gamaliel, one of the leading rabbis of the day. He spoke several languages including Greek, Hebrew, and Latin. He was familiar with the poetic writings and customs of numerous peoples he visited. In Disraeli’s estimation, he may have been considered a most successful man. Clearly others respected his great learning. As Paul made his defense of the Gospel before King Agrippa, the procurator of Judea, Festus, exclaimed the following:
And as he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words.”
Acts 26:24-25 (ESV)
No, the Apostle Paul was not insane; he was the most sane and sober person on the planet. All of his knowledge and learning, was now focused upon spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to anyone who would listen. God led Paul to speak to kings, emperors, rabbis, soldiers, and slaves. All levels of society heard him speak. His great knowledge enabled him to travel and mingle throughout the known world, to preach the Gospel.
I have been blessed with a college education and a medical degree. I have learned a great deal of information and continue to accumulate knowledge. I may be on a path of success by Benjamin Disraeli’s standards, but my true measure of success will only be if I use this knowledge, like the Apostle Paul, to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
I pray that God will give me wisdom to use my knowledge to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ to whomever I meet.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.