Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wisdom vs. Wit

Sometimes I wish I was clever. You know- when someone says something witty and you have an equally witty comeback? I'm not clever that way though. When I was a child, I used to think that I could have some witty retort to someone making fun of me or another equally unpopular child. When the offending party was stumped with nothing more to say, all the other kids who felt like the underdog would hoist me to their shoulders and carry me around cheering my intellect like it was some sort of super power. As an adult, I know how foolish it is to feel this way still, but really do we ever grow up completely? Do we ever stop feeling vulnerable like children? What does God's Word say about all of this?

 Isaiah 5: 21 says "Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes And clever in their own sight!"

1 Corinthians 3:18 "Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise."

Proverbs 3:7 "Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil."


There are more verses about the pride of thinking ourselves clever and wise.  So where does this come from? Why is it so pervasive in people to want to know things we don't really know? I'm not talking about what you learn from a book rather than from actually doing something (like I "know" how to make soap in theory. I've read about it and even memorized recipes for years, but I've never done it myself), I'm talking about the desire to always have something to say in conversation- something that people will nod and think "I wish I had said that" and "she always says the most wise things." The basic question is: where does human pride come from?

When Earth was freshly made and everything was "good" according to God (who I bet never throws around words such as "good" like I do)- this was the height of perfection for human kind! There was one man and one woman. They had everything in creation to discover! And what did they do? The ONE thing they were told NOT to do. Eve was told by the adversary: "You know the only reason He doesn't want you to eat the fruit is because he wants to keep you in the dark about everything. Girlfriend, as soon as you eat it you'll know good and evil just like He does and you KNOW He just wants to keep a sista down! (my paraphrase of course)"

Not wanting to remain uncouth, she ate it and then gave some to Adam and he ate it too. That pride- that desire to "know" something was born in the human heart! Our Mother Eve, and Father Adam- they wanted to know better than God! So next time I'm hit with the urge to have had some clever thing to say, maybe I can remember verses about meekness and contentment.