Message from the Monthly Flyer from March 2010
Next to riches, intelligence is also one of the most desired attributes of our Western society, and is considered to be a key to a successful life. It is no surprise that Brain Clubs are springing up like mushrooms out of the ground, and that the market is bogged down with books and magazines relating to this subject. Attempts are made to study intelligence, to increase it and to use it to its full potential. People talk about Brain food, mental sport, training courses for the EQ and the IQ, brain gymnastics, pills, and other means to improve the brain´s potential. You can go back to the Greeks, who achieved great feats involving the memory, and learn from them.
As a result of intelligence being closely connected with the ability of recording knowledge and recalling it back quickly to memory as required; and that training of the memory is regarded as being the best method for effectively enhancing the intelligence rate – the techniques for training the memory (methods used to improve the level of intelligence) are highly esteemed. The principle of memory training technique is based, for example, on combining numbers with other information, such as images or experiences which have a very impressive effect, in order to expand the memory´s capacity to great limits. These methods cannot be condemned, if the pictures are clean in the moral sense and if the mind is not polluted with brutal or erotic pictures (whereby, several promoters of the memory training technique “successfully” poison their minds) However, many people pay a high price for their success.
How important is intelligence regarded in the Bible? In the Bible also, a lot can be found on the subject of wisdom, intelligence and knowledge. In Proverbs 8:30, wisdom is one of God’s favorites and it was with Him from the beginning. However, even though the Bible talks about wisdom, intelligence and knowledge, something completely different is meant than mere intelligence, or above average brain performance and the successful usage of it. God’s wisdom is always intertwined with divine characteristics such as love, faith, patience, meekness, kindness, faithfulness, and modesty. In 1 Corinthians 13:2, it says that when a man has all knowledge but does not have love, he is nothing.
The word virtue in our society - a society which sets its values on the accomplishments made by an individual - is a term of anachronism; and the fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22) is often considered as a weakness and not worth pursuing. However, God seeks and expects to find this fruit, which is produced by the Holy Spirit, in the life of every person. The majority of mankind are unfruitful trees, for without the Spirit of God, you cannot bring forth the fruit of the Spirit.
In our society, many people are so “intelligent” that they do not believe in God. The Bible calls them fools. Science which excludes God is not science but rather it is foolishness. The heroes of the past (see Ezekiel 32:18 ff, Isaiah 14:20 ff, Revelation 20:11-15) and the people who have made a name for themselves in this present time, but have not asked about God and who will end up dying in their sin, they will all have to stand before the one God, Jesus Christ, and will not be able to justify themselves.
A Christian should use everything that he has received from God, with his whole strength and being for the glory of God, whether it be intelligence, possessions, time, or something else. Are you more clever than somebody else, then remain humble; and if you are less clever than somebody else, then realize that the Word of God offers good promises to those that are diligent. It does not completely depend upon the gifts or talents that a person possesses. With God different values count, compared to those which the world considers as being desirable. And we need to watch out that we are not influenced and end up getting infected by the biased values of our society.
If you build your house on the rock, Jesus Christ, then you are wise. Never underestimate the promises of God. David testified in Psalm 18:29, “By my God have I leaped over a wall.” His son Solomon received great wisdom from God overnight. Paul writes in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me.” As human beings, we are limited, but with God, all things are possible.
A person cannot determine his destiny, no matter how gifted or intelligent he may be; but if he is obedient to God, he can achieve great things which God has willed for him, as according to His grace. We are so dependent upon the grace of God; however, only a wise person is aware of this fact. Divine wisdom and intelligence will not necessarily mean that you will be highly esteemed in this world, but rather a wise person strives to be acknowledged by God. In Ecclesiastes 8:5, it says that a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.
The book of Ecclesiastes, which speaks a lot about wisdom and intelligence and offers practical advice for our lives, ends in this way, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” ra
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