Ed, my old neighbour in Saskatchewan, said yesterday that continuing to be a farmer shows he is not too smart. I asked him if the pressure of his harvest was getting to him. Ed admitted his optimism and eagerness for his farm have dried up like the creek in a summer drought.
We can spend years doing something that can alternate between being smart and satisfying and being dumb and disastrous. Many of us have questioned the intelligence of our actions at certain times. In pride, we have challenged the IQ of certain other individuals. History describes certain people as the smartest in the world for their time, such as Isaac Newton. In his time, Newton helped the world to understand the concept of gravitational force. He was able to see beyond the obvious of an apple falling off its branch to the ground below.
Ed and I tend to be more comfortable in what would be obvious to most folks. If the apples are ripe and falling off the tree, don’t sit under the tree and let an apple fall on your head. Instead, stay on your feet and pick the apples before they fall off and get bruised.
I admit to not being a deep thinker. I told Ed there is a list of the top 10 of the smartest people today. The top spot goes to Australian Terence Tao, a mathematician. Personally, it is wise for me to use a calculator. The second person on the list is Marilyn Van Savant, who has an IQ of 228. I like the saying that it is good to be smart but better to be wise. It is more than knowing that junk food is full of calories, but being wise enough to know that if I buy junk food, I will eat it. It is extra smart to steer away from junk food in the store and come home without any.
In the Bible, Solomon was super-smart and wise but not wise enough to keep steady in his faith in his later life. We know what's right but decide to do what isn't in our own best interest. For Solomon’s faith in God, it wasn’t in his best interest to take foreign wives who worshiped other gods. No one should forget that human relationships can grow cold and end. Likewise, our love for God can get distracted, cold and misplaced on ourselves or others.
The Bible reminds us that, “Each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12) We do much labelling of people reporting who is the smartest, the richest, the strongest. God's word reminds us that we must silence our boasting, and labelling, for all are sinners and held accountable before God. In His mercy, God has provided forgiveness for our disobedience and sin through faith in Christ.
Romans instructs Christians that because of God's mercy, we are to continue to be transformed by the renewing of our minds in God's word for as long as we live. We are to, "Hate what is evil. Honour others above ourselves. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Unwilling to repay anyone evil for evil and much more. Romans 12:9-17