Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Intelligence vs Wisdom

So this post isn't really about me or the kids, it's just something that's been floating around my head lately. I figured I would just type it up. :)

With all of the amount of information accessible nowadays, it seems everyone is able to research and learn about various topics/subjects that interest them. I love that. The ability to learn about things that I might want to know more about is just so neat. However, the more I observe the behavior and mindset of our society in general, I can't but notice that intellect is taking the place of wisdom. Again, the purpose of this post isn't to downplay the importance of learning or bash the idea of being intelligent. This is just my personal opinion on the matter of isolating facts/opinions vs true wisdom.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone walks in a room and wants everyone to know they are the smartest person there. Every conversation they are a part of, they instantly offer the "right opinion" or the "correct answer" to any question that is posed (or not even posed). I really think it's great to have opinions and the ability to give advice if asked. But at times even if we might be knowledgeable on a topic, know statistics, and able to give examples to support our argument, I've learned it's better to apply wisdom rather than intelligence.

In my opinion constantly interjecting an opinion or giving unsolicited advice is unnecessary. I truly despise when people love to debate on basically every topic that is presented before them. I think I'm speaking from personal experience. -For years and years, I ALWAYS had the right answer. I constantly knew exactly what people needed to do and didn't mind telling them. In fact, I was convinced that this was an act of service. If someone was going through something hard, I would immediately offer advice and the right way to resolve their issue. I mean I had read about this, so I knew was I was talking about.- However, the more mature I became and the closer I drew to God, He pointed out that all of my unsolicited "expertise" was mostly just to make myself feel valuable and important. I wanted people to know that I was smart and impress them by how much I knew about any particular topic. I slowly began to realize that I was stunting my wisdom growth by boasting my intelligence. The more I began to observe and listen, the more I learned that wisdom is truly something one doesn't need to verbally boast about. It's something people feel, see, notice about us. If I really wanted to help and serve people, they needed my compassion, a listening ear, and a helping hand rather than just statistic and facts.

No matter how many statistics or books someone has read on a subject, I'm learning that no one can truly understand anyone's situations, decisions, or problems fully. The older I get and the more I seek to have true wisdom, the more I realize I don't know. However, I have learned that empathy and compassion are sometimes far more important in certain situations that book knowledge. The reason I feel this is because I think as a society we focus on all of the information we accumulate on a specific topic, than each person that is affected by said topic.

 Real wisdom starts with love not knowledge. Because if we love before we learn, there's a true selflessness that comes to light. Instead of just learning a bunch of knowledge we can apply whenever it's profitable for us, we learn about the person that we now love.

For example, I can't begin to fathom the pain of losing a child or having to see my child suffer with a serious medical condition. While it's great to be able to give advice or tips, I truly believe that we must knowledge that fact that we will not understand exactly what people without really loving them first. Instead of listing off some bullet points we read in a facebook article "10 helpful tips for dealing with grief" or just immediately giving an opinion on how we would handle the situation, showing the person love is the most important... During my divorce and now as a single parent, I can't even begin to list off the countless amounts of unsolicited advice given to me. These people had all the facts and knew exactly what I needed to do. However, I never asked for their opinion in the first place. To be honest, a lot of the counsel I did seek was from people that weren't even knowledge in those areas. I didn't want to talk to someone who had "all the right answers"; I wanted someone who I knew truly loved and cared about me. I sought them out specifically because of that. And guess what, they didn't just ramble off facts they read in a book. Instead they just listened. They listened to me cry, get angry, be confused, and totally lost in regard on what I should do next. Finally, I noticed something very important about true wisdom. They began to ask questions. These people wanted to understand me and my personal situation. From there, they began to pray, read, and learn about various tactics/ways to help me.

I think we can all sense the difference in real wisdom vs being "smart". People that are wise might talk a lot or not much at all. They might be extremely booksmart or be intelligent in other areas (interpersonal, intrapersonal, socially, kinestically, logically, creatively). We are drawn to wisdom because we know it's grown with self-control and not self-promotion. I seriously just LOVE sensing that in people. Seth Megow is seriously not the wisest person, but I can honestly say that I'm growing in that area. I really believe that because I'm loving more & more the concept of humility. Hahahaha. Not saying I'm the most humble person (not be a long shot), but I'm noticing that humility is normally a major trait of people that possess wisdom.

So I guess this is just a challenge to myself. Love people before I learn. Accept that I don't know everything or understand every situation. Listen and ask questions. Finally, I want to make sure that I'm serving people with my knowledge and not using it to just serve myself. :)

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,


  1. You are on your way to wisdom, but more, being like Jesus. Before Jesus does miracles in the Bible, it says He was moved with compassion. When we are moved with compassion and filled with His Spirit and love, we open the possibility for miracles to happen in others and in us. Glad you wrote about this distinction between wisdom and being smart.