Throughout my childhood, from ages 5 to 18, I dreaded the day that my parents received my annual school report card. I think my mother has kept some of these dull but disappointing publications on the off chance that her oldest daughter blindsides the family with a moment of brilliance. She may then wave these foolscap pieces of paper in the faces of various educational professionals and say – So there! But she won’t as she is far too gracious for that, and no moment of brilliance has materialized as yet.
Intelligence certainly wasn’t my forte as a child. This is because nobody regarded the collected works of Laura Inglis Wilder or even how to eavesdrop on an adult conversation as things anyone needed to be proficient in. Mathematics and scientific formulae always took precedence. If you had asked me back then if I was brainy I’d have repeated the message that I was getting at school – ‘could do better’.
And certainly, we all could. There will be several gaps in our knowledge and understanding as we make our way through life such as English grammar, how to make a sour–dough starter or how to rewire an electric plug. Life is one long list of lessons. However, when we open the pages of the Bible, we move into the spiritual realm which tends to turn the world on its head. Let’s begin with wisdom.
In God’s Word we discover that there is such a thing as worldly wisdom and godly wisdom. And godly wisdom is not about learning facts and passing exams. In 1 Corinthians 1:27 we read that God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. He gives understanding and faith to people who would seldom be mentioned in an academic journal or even a theological one. Throughout scripture we see examples of God using the uneducated and unsophisticated for his glory. For example, shepherds witnessed the incarnation months before the wise men from the east. Then Christ introduces a young child to his disciples and urges them to imitate him. ‘Become like little children.’
Why? They know nothing and you have to teach them everything. Their understanding of the world is severely limited. They are often naïve and as a result extremely vulnerable. Our society looks down on the likes of them. But without this fundamental adjustment that Jesus requests of us, without this humiliation shall we say, we will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
God wants you to become like a child for one simple reason. The truth of godly wisdom does not involve the brilliance of your mind but the trusting of your heart. It’s a trust that God can and will save your sinful soul.
A true Bible Brainiac is someone who knows God in such a way that His home is their home; heaven is a present and future reality for the people of God. The facts that the believer knows about God are often truths they have experienced. God, to them, is a person but more than that, he is a friend, a father, an intimate.
Those of us who have spent years in the vicinity of scripture may have collected a perfect attendance record at Sunday school, an impressive score on our memory verses and a thorough knowledge of every book of the Bible. But without a personal knowledge of ourselves as sinners and Christ as our much–needed Saviour we know nothing that will help us eternally. Godly wisdom is a simple gift from God through which we can begin a life and eternity of becoming personally deep with him.
Gregory the Great said that ‘the Bible is like a river that a lamb can wade in, and an elephant can swim in.’ Those of us who have been dipping our toes into this reality need to take a deep breath and jump! God is there.