Just How Smart Are You?

7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.
10 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 
Proverbs 1:7 & Proverbs 9:10

Who is the smartest person in the world? That’s a difficult question to answer. Is it the person with the highest IQ score? Is it the high school scholar who scores a 2400 on his SAT and 36 on his ACT? Is it the student with the highest GPA at the best Ivy League School?

Intelligence can be measured, but how about wisdom? If intelligence is “book-smarts” then wisdom is “life-smarts.” Wisdom is intelligence put to practical use. Wisdom is a knowledge that comes from experience. Wisdom is a hard thing to define and a harder thing to measure.

But it’s not too hard for our God to define; it’s not too hard for him to measure. He tells us that true wisdom is the fear of the Lord. No matter how smart we are, no matter how long we’ve lived or how practically wise we are, it is meaningless without the fear of the Lord. All perfect scores in the world and all the A+ tests a person can complete don’t do a thing to take away our life’s failures. They don’t’ make us any less sinful nor do they give us a standing before our God. Our sins have separated us from God and we can’t think, or act or plead our way back.

But our God welcomes us back into his presence. Through Jesus he makes us what we were not. Though we are sinners, he makes us perfect. Though we deserve death, he gives us life. And then he puts faith in our hearts, faith to believe in his love, faith to know Jesus as Lord, faith to properly fear the Lord and serve him always. And that makes us truly wise!

No matter how book smart you are, no matter what your test scores usually say, you are perfect in God’s sight. He made you wise for salvation through faith in Christ. That is reason to worship and praise him. That is reason to live for him. That is reason to do every day what he has enabled us to do.

He makes us smart. He makes us wise. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

Prayer: Lord, though we are by nature foolishly sinful, we praise you for making us wise and pointing us to Jesus and your love for us through him. Forgive our sins and enable us to live out our days in the fear of the Lord. Amen.

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