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
The sign of an intelligent people is their ability to control their emotions by the application of reason. Marya Mannes
Many people are confused about intelligence. It causes some to feel intimated and inferior while others are arrogant and conceited. Some 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 as a possession. If we have it, we might feel “special”; if we do not have it, we may feel “slighted”. Sadly in many ways it labels us.
The most important aspect of intelligence is what we do with what we do have. There are many who are considered brilliant who live lives of misery. There are those who are considered average who are accomplished, well balanced and happy. Intelligence is an attribute. It is 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. There are many more such traits and comparisons. Some of these characteristics are innate and genetic, some are environmental, and yet others are choices we make. All of them come together to make us who and what we are.
A layman’s understanding of intelligence is; ability to learn, reason and acquire knowledge; using and applying the things learned to live a good life. Intelligence should give wisdom. The wiser we are, the better decisions we should make and the better we should be. If we wisely use the intelligence we have, we are capable of doing rather well. This concept gets a little “muddy” as to what “rather well in life” means. Does “well” imply things, money and possessions; does it mean, joy and happiness, or both? A test of our intelligence is to find the answers to our questions. Intelligence used “wisely” offers increased potential to live life with meaning and purpose, even finding joy and happiness. Why do some “intelligent people” end their lives early through suicide?
We should use our intelligence, to fully experience life, expand our horizons, and to fully become what we are capable of becoming. We should proactively seek meaning and purpose in life, not necessarily possessions and money. By not using our intelligence to live up to our potential, we have wasted some of the raw materials we were given. The sad truth is most of us are not using our intelligence as wisely and effectively as we can.
Challenge: You can use your intelligence to learn, grow, and accomplish more. If you are satisfied where you are, you may not be wasting it. If you are searching for more from life; use your intelligence to help you find what you are searching for. Your intelligence gives you the ability to grow and learn and to become more than you are today. You have potential. Hold yourself accountable; use the gifts that you have, become the better you.
Wisdom: The ability to focus attention on important things is a defining characteristic of intelligence. Robert J. Shiller
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
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. Matthew 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 lack in our own strength, God wants to provide to us. He knows our potential and capabilities and wants to make us complete. He 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.