My son, don’t forget my instruction.
Let your heart guard my commands,
because they will help you live a long time
and provide you with well-being.
Don’t let loyalty and faithfulness leave you.
Bind them on your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will find favor and approval
in the eyes of God and humanity.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths,
and he will keep your ways straight.
Everyone knows that intelligence only gets us so far.
We all know plenty of smart people who stumble because they lean too heavily on their rational minds, forgetting to account either for their own feelings or the feelings of others. Systems and people don’t change their ways because it’s the “logical” or “sensible” thing to do. In fact, they often resist change, kicking and screaming until finally, like a toddler, they realize that continued fighting is useless. Then they give in, acting angry and sullen in the process.
We can also look at this from the other direction. It’s often true that our minds themselves are the biggest barriers to change. We are convinced, and we’ll tell anyone who will listen, “that will never work.” We don’t need to try anything. We know it already.
Intelligence only gets us so far. After that, it takes faith. There will be times when all your rational thinking will fail you. You won’t know the solutions to the problems you face. You won’t know what to do.
It’s in those moments, when you’ll need to learn the meaning of this verse: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence.”
For Pondering & Prayer
Is there a situation that you’ve been wrestling with lately where it feels like you’ve reached the limits of your understanding and resources? Have you tried turning that situation over to God?
How often are you guilty of saying “that will never work” when someone else offers a solution to a problem? Just for today, can you eliminate that phrase from your vocabulary?