Intelligence and Wisdom

There seems to be a correlation between a person’s intelligence and the amount of time it takes them to complete a task.  I learned this today as I was loading a new class set of laptops into their storage cart.  For each laptop I had to remove a tray and attach the power supply using a combination of velcro straps and twist-ties.  Then I had to label the laptop, its designated space in the cart, and its corresponding power outlet.  The first time I attempted this it took me nearly 15 minutes.  As simple as the task sounds, it took me awhile of studying the cart’s design and reading the instruction manual to figure out how everything fit together.  Securing and labeling the next laptop became much quicker because I had learned some of the basic steps.  Then I found ways to be make the process more efficient so that by the last laptop I had reduced my time to under 5 minutes.  Practice and routine helped, but truly it was a problem-solving approach that allowed me to speed up the process.  My knowledge of the materials – that is, my intelligence – grew.

There are exceptions to this principle, but I think we can find numerous applications beyond my own.  For example, a fluent reader is able to work their way through a text much more quickly than one who is developing their reading abilities.  An auto mechanic is able to change an oil filter much quicker than a new car owner reading their owner’s manual.  An experienced chef can execute a recipe and even serve a large number of people in little time.  And by this logic we might even evaluate the creative processes of this universe.  If the evolutionary science holds that chaotic matter spawned life forms over an extended period of time then what would those same scientists be confessing about a God who speaks life into existence within a matter of seconds?

Proverbs 9:10 says, “Fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.”  This is not a troublesome cowering in fear, but a reverent awe-full fear.  A respect for God in His holiness but also a respect for God in His judgment.  He not only sets laws but He is the standard and will punish all violators.

My previous reflections on intelligence cause me to look at this verse a little differently.  If the wise man is one who fears the Lord, the wise man would, therefore, be one who learns quickly.  One who recognizes what brings glory to God and what grieves Him.  And the wise man not only has knowledge of these things, he furthermore acts rightly upon it.  We are all intelligent in our own ways, but wisdom is a higher calling.  Wisdom is a learned (and demonstrated) obedience.