IF YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING, THINK AGAIN
‘So why fool yourself and live under an illusion? Make no mistake about it, if anyone thinks he is wise by the world’s standards, he will be made wiser by being a fool for God! For what the world says is wisdom is actually foolishness in God’s eyes. As it is written: The cleverness of the know-it-alls becomes the trap that ensnares them.’ 1 Corinthians 3:18–19 TPT
I’ve been fortunate to meet and spend time with some really smart people in my life. As always, some were cool and others were pricks. The distinguishing factor rested in their view of knowledge.
Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. ‘ I Corinthians 8:1
I grew up with what seemed like a family gene trait to always want to be right. Even if it was something minor, like debating the exact temperature of the weather — I felt like I needed to be right. As I grew older, I realized that being right was not going to bring me toward greatness.
Better give your path to a dog than be bitten by him in contesting for the right. Even killing the dog would not cure the bite.- Dale Carnegie
When I was young, being right was my medal for intelligence. The problem was that to win in being right was costly. As I watched other acquaintances and family members forge this path of ‘being right’, I quickly realized they were using up too much energy on battles that didn’t matter.
If your intelligence is hinged on being ‘right’ — you may be wasting too much energy on things which do not matter.
Widsom has it’s own struggles. You would think, to be wise would be the ultimate dream. However, in this verse (1 Cor. 3:18) it becomes a curse. The wisdom you gain becomes the crutch you rest on. And, as we all know, God wants us to lean our broken, foolish self on Him. In the end, our wisdom is only foolishness compared to His. Sucks, but true.
I’m not a smart guy. I barely graduated High School and was only at college long enough to play a full season of football (which I LOVED). Most of my life was built on cockiness mixed with courage. It’s a very combustible duo. A duo which brought me into a lot of trouble.
Fortunately, when I was about 26 years old, God took an extra liking to me. I was at the end of my road of courage and cockiness. The right people came into my life and I listened. I made a decision to walk the path with Jesus.
I can’t say everything changed at once. But, my heart was much more moldable. Instead of looking at people as pawns, I saw them as gifts. I learned to use my mind for good. I asked God for the right kind of wisdom, the right kind of thinking.
I can’t say I’m any smarter than I was in college but I will say I am more humble and understanding. I choose to give others the benefit of the doubt. I choose to believe their stories even if I know they are wrong. I choose to let others win even though I know I could absolutely f’n DESTROY them.
After I made my decision to follow Jesus, I was traveling for work to Singapore. I had been hired by a pastor to travel with him and help on his large scale crusades. Sort of like Righteous Gemstones vibes if you’ve seen the show — minus all the killing and drugs. While we were at this church, my heart was melted by the Singporean culture.
They were just so warm, intelligent and loving. As I watched, day after day they collectively amazed me. It was such an impact on me that when I returned home, I got a tattoo of a Bible verse that came to me while watching and visiting their church.
‘Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.’ Matthew 5:5
This is a hallmark verse to me because of the word ‘meek’. If you have never explored the word, it’s powerful. The word ‘meek’ is likened to a Herculean lion who knows how to control his power for the sake of good.
Just like this verse in St. Matthew and in 1 Corinthians, use your intelligence for good, to build others up. If you lack intelligence, ask God for it and He will give you the right wisdom. If you have too much — try humility.
I hope we can all do better with the wisdom we have. Channeling it for the good in us and the greatness God has called us too.
Jesus, I need wisdom that is from you. Help me with my intelligence. Help me use it when I need to and help others when I can. Humble me in every way. I need your guidance in everything I do. I only want to build others up. amen.