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Thursday, May 25, 2017

I have a high "IQ"

Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge. (Proverbs 18:15 NLT)

Intelligence is measured in a number of different ways, but most commonly we hear of someone's IQ (intelligence quotient) as the measure of just how "smart" that individual is or is not. I am not a proponent of measuring "smartness" by this quotient, for I have met many a highly "intelligent" individual who lacks common sense or much in the way of spiritual insight. The higher IQ doesn't guarantee that individual has filled their "spiritual tank" as much as they might have filled their "intelligence tank". With an empty spiritual tank, all the intelligence in the world leaves you lacking some of the best and most beneficial of knowledge there is - the mind of Christ!

I believe it was Erma Bombeck that eluded to the concept of judgment slowly, but surely turning to compassion and understanding - simply by becoming a parent. The mindset changes when the circumstances of life change, doesn't it? The hard and fast way of seeing things, always black or white, suddenly gets blurred when we see these wee ones in front of us and then have to make sense of how they see the world through their innocent eyes. The way we see things doesn't always "add up" in their understanding of life - so we have to bend a little in how we hold fast to the way we think things should be so that we don't destroy their ability or willingness to learn something. A parent has one way of defining a "clean room" for example - a child sees that they can quickly identify where their clean underwear are, even if they are in a pile on the floor where they landed after the laundry was all folded!

The child isn't "unintelligent" - he or she is adaptive to the situation at hand and applies the knowledge at hand to get the job done. To the child, the drawers are nice, but when you can see everything and don't have to go through the extra steps of opening the drawers - that is a bonus! Their primary concern is that they know where their toys are, who is interacting with those toys, and just how much time they can spend with those toys before bedtime encroaches upon their enjoyment. Over the course of time, the child must learn there is a time for play and a time for work - a tough concept for a child to grasp - not because it requires a high IQ, but because it requires a "bending of the will". This is often where true "intelligence" is judged - not in that we can remember all the facts or systems in the world, but that we know when our needs may have to be put on hold to meet the needs presented by another.

God's mind isn't going to mysteriously just "populate" ours with his thoughts and ways of seeing things, but the more we are willing to lay down how it is we insist on perceiving things, the more we are opened to the way he does. The simple truth of the matter is that our spiritual tank must constantly be refilled, and this is done by allowing more and more of the mind of Christ to be revealed to us. We then determine how much we will allow those thoughts to determine our actions, lending to the overall "intelligence" we exhibit in the matter at hand. Sometimes the best "IQ" we can display is the one in which we admit we don't have all the answers and we just need God to give us a little more insight into the matter! Just sayin!