It is not enough to have a good mind; the main thing is to use it well. Descartes
The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. Einstein
Many people are confused about intelligence. It causes some to feel intimated and inferior and others to become arrogant and even conceited. People gauge and measure their intelligence against others: who are they more intelligent than and who is more intelligent than themselves? We tend to think of it as a commodity or a possession. If we have it, we might feel “special”; if we do not have it, we might feel “slighted”.
The most important aspect of intelligence is what we do with what we happen to have. There are many who are considered brilliant who live lives of misery. There are those considered of average intelligence that are accomplished, well balanced and happy. Intelligence is an attribute, one of many that describe human characteristics. We can be tall or short, thin or heavy, beautiful or plain, athletic or clumsy, hard working or lazy, and many more such comparisons. Some of these traits are innate and genetic, some are environmental, and some are choices that we make. All of them come together to make us who we are.
A layman’s understanding of intelligence is; our ability to learn, reason and acquire knowledge; and then to use and apply these things to live life successfully. Intelligence should give us wisdom. It would seem, the wiser we are, the better decisions we will make, and the better off we will be. If we are intelligent and act intelligently, we have the capability of doing rather well. This concept can get a little “muddy” as to what it means to do “rather well in life”. Does “well” imply things, money and possessions; or does it mean, joy and happiness; perhaps both! One use of our intelligence is to find answers to such questions. Intelligence used “wisely” offers increased potential to live with meaning and purpose and to find joy and happiness in the process. Many so-called intelligent people have ended their lives early through suicide.
We should use our intelligence, to experience life, expand horizons, and to become what we are capable of becoming. We should seek to find answers to successful living, not necessarily money and possessions. If we do not use our intelligence to live to our potential, then we were given more than we actually needed in the first place. The sad truth is that most of us are not using our intelligence as wisely and effectively as we can.
Challenge: You can use intelligence to learn, grow, and accomplish more in life. If you are satisfied with where you are, then you may not be using it wisely. If you are searching for more; using your intelligence will help you find what you are looking for. Your intelligence gives you the ability to grow, to learn and to become more tomorrow than you were today. Hold yourself accountable; use the abilities you have and become a better you.
Wisdom: The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence.
Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life. Proverbs 22:4
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Psalm 128:2
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt 6:33
Intelligence and wisdom as defined by man is not the same as what God deems it to be. If we are the smartest individual who ever lived and fail to find God, how pitiful that is. Anything we may lack in our own strength, God will provide us. He knows our potential and our capability; after all He is the one who designed us. We are the clay and should allow the master potter to mold us into the beautiful creation He originally intended.
Prayer: Help me use the talents and abilities you have given me and to become what you designed me to be.