Our society is in love with intelligence. Usually it’s just our own intelligence, though
I even have very close friends who firmly state they are “too smart” to believe in God and that Christians are sheep looking a way to comfort themselves though life. They then remember that I’m sitting right next to them so they back-track a bit, but that is how they really feel. Hey, I felt the same way until God started cracking into my skull.
Can one be “too smart” for God? Is intelligence all it’s cracked up to be? Before I knew God, intelligence was what I believed to be all-important. Did it bring me abundant life?
My Experience as a "Smarty-Pants"
I’ve done extremely well on tests and had a rep for being a very smart kid though my grades certainly did not reflect it. I did the gifted classes and always enjoyed studying stuff – just not usually in school.
My parents were understandably excited when all three of their kids turned out very bright. Imagine the possibilities for our future. Hey, what parent doesn’t want a smart kid? While God obviously blessed us with inquisitive minds, our parents also helped the process by reading to us from a very young age, and by always making school a #1 priority. I even remember doing educational activities in the summers like study guides or having our Dad quiz us on books we read. I wasn’t 100% wild about it then, but I think it definitely helped keep us sharp.
However, over-emphasis on the value of intelligence does not pave the road for a good future for our youth. Whenever I misbehaved, I can still hear the words of my folks ringing in my head,
Matthew, you’re so smart. I just don’t understand how you can do that.
I must have heard how “smart” I was a million times by the age of 18. You know what? I believed it. I still have issues with pride where I think I’m smarter than everyone else. How about you? When you’re driving, is everyone slower than you a “moron”, while everyone faster is a “lunatic”?
What did all that intelligence get me? Not much. I ended up making a ton of mistakes which left me with a serious drinking problem, an even worse attitude problem, lousy grades (hence a lousy job), and a feeling that I would never live up to that great wealth of potential.
Why did I make these bad choices? We’ll tackle that tommorow. I originally wrote a giant post, but figured everyone might be too busy to read all at once.
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Have a blessed day!