Wisdom vs Intelligence (Part 2) – Why we Make Bad Choices

wisdom versus intelligence
Click here to read Part 1 of Wisdom vs. Intelligence

I made bad choices not because I didn’t understand the implications or that I did not care about the outcome – I had little spiritual direction or a guiding force. I viewed rules as “should’s and shoudn’ts” of life. They did not connect into a big picture other than that I should follow them to stay out of trouble.

Many people seek God in such a fashion. Look at Islam or those who follow the laws of Judaism without seeking the Lord’s heart. There is a huge set of laws to govern our choices. It is the easy way out for many of us. We want a “5 easy steps to achieve/get X.” Maybe if we feel convicted by the Lord we accept a message like “5 easy ways to stop whatever it is we are doing.” I know, because I write those top 5 and 10 lists to sell ideas or products on the web for a living.

Rules are “Kid Stuff”

Extensive rules are for the guidance of children, who have not yet developed the wisdom of God. Jesus said that God gave us the (Mosaic) law because of the hardness of our hearts. Jesus is saying that God had to treat us like spiritual children since we rejected him and would not mature.

As children mature into adults, they are supposed to acquire wisdom that will help them apply basic rules to a larger set of decisions. Is it even possible to govern every possible decision with rules and laws? We sure try in America…

We could fill rooms with all the local, state, and Federal laws in the US. Add to that every company manual and memo to govern behavior, and we could fill a football stadium from the turf, to the top of the bleachers.

How many laws do we need to explain the 10 commandments?

Definition of Wisdom

If you know the English language, you know what wisdom means – or at least how the world uses it. Many modern definitions equate wisdom with intelligence, but the historic definition is closer to the following:

Wisdom – ability to apply knowledge or experience or understanding or common sense and insight

Wisdom is making the right choices. We make the right choices not by luck of a coin flip or by amassing an increasingly-widening body of knowledge. We apply wisdom by knowing who we are, where we need to be, and what steps will get us there. When I was young, the plan drummed into my head in school and at home was that I was smart, so my formula for life should be:

  1. do well in school
  2. go to a good college
  3. get a good job
  4. retire with plenty of money

You might be going down that list saying, “Check, check, check, annnnd check! What’s wrong with that”?

Nothing really, but if that is all we have planned out, we will have some serious problems with all the life that comes between those fruits of success. That whole formula I listed is driven by materialism and the security that comes from it. Surely we need all these things and it is much better to be rich than poor, but not at the expense of our soul. Jesus warns us about chasing material wealth.

The Plan for Our Future

We’ll pick up tomorrow with Part 3 of “Intelligence vs Wisdom” and find the plan for our future – exciting stuff, I know! Hope to see you then. Be sure to sign up for our email reminders below of for our ultra-geeky (RSS feeds on the right side of the blog. Have a blessed day!

2 Responses to “Wisdom vs Intelligence (Part 2) – Why we Make Bad Choices”

  1. Very apt 1,2,3,4 on that checklist! In just that section, you have been able to summarize the first 34 years of my life! Even as a Christian then of 12 years, I didn’t get it, it did not sink in (yet) that there was anything wrong with the 1,2,3,4 approach to life, until [that is] the Lord revealed the truth to me, and it became clear to me, there is just one truth, John 17:3 And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true {and} real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent. This is the ONLY reality that I now have [and share] and I have never looked back since, and shall never look back again.

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