At this point, it may really seem like I’m harping too much on connecting every area of your life to God. Isn’t being smart more of a social construct created developed to separate the “haves” from the “have nots”? Is intellect really important? When I say every area of your life is important to God, I am referring to the fact that He did not design any part of your being to not be fashioned through Him. Proverbs 16:4 says, “The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster.” Not only do you have a purpose in God; everything you are made of contributes to that purpose.
I think one main area of confusion when it comes to intellect is the definition of intelligence. According to dictionary.com, intelligence is defined as the capacity for learning, reasoning, understanding, and similar forms of mental activity. The question becomes, who gets to determine the norm for mental capacity? When I was a psychology major in college, I remember learning that there were different types of intelligence. There can be intelligence related to language, nature, relationships, music, math, etc. How useful this information would’ve been to some of my high school peers struggling with self-esteem because of their grades.
Now that we better understand the definition of it, we can better understand how it is connected to our overall wellbeing as Believers in Christ Jesus. Intelligence God’s Way will give you peace. All other ways lead to destruction. Proverbs 1:20-33 is a great overview of God’s intention and man’s rejection of intelligence. I couldn’t have said it any better.
20 Wisdom shouts in the streets. She cries out in the public square. 21 She calls to the crowds along the main street, to those gathered in front of the city gate: 22 “How long, you simpletons, will you insist on being simpleminded? How long will you mockers relish your mocking? How long will you fools hate knowledge? 23 Come and listen to my counsel. I’ll share my heart with you and make you wise. 24 “I called you so often, but you wouldn’t come. I reached out
to you, but you paid no attention.
25 You ignored my advice and rejected the correction I offered.26 So I will laugh when you are in trouble! I will mock you when disaster overtakes you— 27 when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster engulfs you like a cyclone, and anguish and distress overwhelm you.
28 “When they cry for help, I will not answer. Though they anxiously search for me, they will not find me. 29 For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the Lord. 30 They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. 31 Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes. 32 For simpletons turn away from me—to death. Fools are destroyed by their own complacency. 33 But all who listen to me will live in peace, untroubled by fear of harm.”
Circling back to the question posed in the title of this blog- Does God really care how smart you are? Yes! He cares how you use the mind, brain, wisdom, etc. that He has given to you to demonstrate His purpose for creation. It has nothing to do with rote memorization or how many perfect answers you can give. It has to do with how well you listen and apply what God is saying.
When you minimize your intelligence, you minimize God’s ability to work. When you neglect your intelligence, you neglect the potential God has placed in you. When you embrace your intelligence, you accept God’s way. When you feed your intelligence, you add fuel to the Spirit of God within you. We have to steward well what we are given and our intelligence is not to be overlooked. It is a critical aspect as to how God wants to move in our lives and among the creation He has designed. Embrace His way of being smart by accepting His knowledge, be mindful of your words and use them to witness, and have a readiness for learning.
To continue growing spiritually or help a friend grow closer to God, check out my devotional!