I used to think it was impossible to be too smart. Now I don’t think this for a few reasons:
- I’ve met people who think they’re “the smartest person in the room” and more often than not, such people are neither personable nor pleasant, despite being so smart
- people often get smart in a particular field / topic at the expense of being “smart” in other areas, thereby creating imbalance, which is not so bueno: think Steve Jobs
- being smart isn’t always the same as being wise
When we think about being smart, let’s keep the mindset that empowers us to always be learning and growing. Let’s posture our intelligence in humility and service more than superiority and supremacy. And let’s continuously acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Wisdom, a dramatic upgrade to just being smart 🙂
Once upon a time, I had a college professor tell me, “Sarah, you’re not as smart as you think you are.” He revealed this “encouraging insight” in front of my entire class & I of course felt so small that I had to reach up to touch the floor. To add more insult to injury, at that time in my life, I thought that being smart was the ultimate thing in my life. If there was anything that I wanted to be at that time in my life, it was smart. So his comments were doubly stinging.
Many years later, I’ve come to the conclusion that while we are all smart in many diverse ways, what we really need isn’t better smarts, but more wisdom & specifically, godly wisdom. In the Bible, the book of James, it says that if anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God to give him some wisdom & that God will liberally answer her request. So let’s you & me decide that we’ll ask God to give us wisdom & trust God to work out the smart part on an as needed basis ,)
When i was growing up, i always wanted to be smart. i’ve always had LOTS of respect for smart people, even brilliant people. If the truth be known, i have probably idolized brains & intelligence. I married a REALLY smart man & only now am i coming to realize how smart he is , mostly through my kids. Isabell & David are presently wrapping up their 2nd and 1st grade school years, respectively. As such, they’ve done some of those nationalized / standardized tests from time to time throughout the year & they’ve done really well. Now i know that my husband is UBER brainy because my kids intellectual achievements & apptitudes are WAY BEYOND my abilities. They didn’t get all these brains from me – they got their intellectual abilities from their dad. Now i’m not saying i’m stupid, but i’m also quite clear on my limits.
In the past, this discovery would have made me feel inferior & insecure. But today, i’m quite happy w knowing this & i don’t have any qualms with this reality and here are 2 reasons why:
- i’ve let Jer 9:23-4 become a central premise for my life: let not the wise, nor wealthy nor strong man boast in his wisdom, wealth or strength. but let him who boasts, boasts that he knows Me. My pursuit to be smart when i was younger has morphed into the desire & pursuit to know God. This principle has become the guiding foundation for me & my daily living.
- Brains is not equal to good; intelligence, moral values and genuine “good” are not all the same thing. i know super brainy people who have been deeply wounded through life and consequently, while they’re still brainy, they’re also very hurtful because of the deep hurt in their hearts. While my kids may be uber smart, i pray that they would know Jesus’ love & have a deep & richly satisfying relationship w Jesus. Brains without compassion, a moral compass or love can be nothing more than accessorized pain & even tyranny.
Its good to be smart, but its even better to live in the pursuit of a deep & vivacious relationship w God
here are some thoughts:
- wear glasses
- carry a book (avoid comics)
- keep a pen behind your ear
- let your hair get messy (a mediocre suggestions bc it can backfire & make you look silly)
- ask questions
- listen alot
Looking smart is different from being wise. Lots of people can look the part, but actually being a wise person requires more than just looking the part. Proverbs has lots to say about how to be wise, starting w the fear of the Lord. It also says that even a fool looks smart when they keep their mouth shut. I’ve heard that role around in my head on more than 1 occassion, that’s for sure! Anyways, just some encouragement here: why not think about reading 1 Proverb each day for the next month & then consider if your wisdom quotient has improved. It probably will 😉
You have to be really smart for Greek & I’m not sure I’m of such a high intellectual caliber to get it. I’m in my 3rd semester of Greek & my class meets weekly for about 2.5 hours on Monday nights, translating parts of Romans. Again, you have to be really smart for this class. Tonight, I’m not feeling very smart. Its probably because I’m tired, at least I’m hoping this excuse will make things look better in the morning. I just don’t feel very smart. Do you know that Paul doesn’t use verbs in some of his sentences? That’s about all I want to say on this topic.