Intelligence has a dark side. The mad scientist, the evil tyrant, the devious-but-brainy bad guys that our favorite super heroes destroy – these illustrate the fact that intellectual abilty can be used for wicked purposes.
The ability to put whatever knowledge we have to good use is known in the Bible as wisdom. It’s an acquired skill – the capacity to live life well. Wisdom helps people stay happily married and to do OK financially. It helps us raise our children in such a way that they appreciate us more and more as they get older. Wisdom finds the solution to unexpected problems and makes us a blessing to our friends – and even our enemies when needed.
Wisdom begins with the fear of God:
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
– Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)
That’s where it starts, but it can’t end there. Life is just complicated enough that we often need more wisdom than we ever figured. So how do we get all we need? We pray for it, ask God for it, and feel free to keep asking.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5 (NKJV)
And we can know God’s wisdom as we get it, because it tends to look like this:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.” – James 3:17 (NKJV)