What's the Difference Between Smart People and Intelligent People

What is the Difference Between Smart People and Intelligent People?
By Pastor Alexander Redd
October 7, 2023

"The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice" (Proverbs 12:15).

As we walk by faith in Christ Jesus, we come across people with different levels of knowledge and understanding. Today, we will understand the intriguing difference between intelligent people and smart or clever people as we seek to grow in wisdom and walk in the light of God's Word.

Our intelligence, often linked to our intellectual abilities, is a precious gift from our Creator - God. Our gifts enable us to gain knowledge, understand intricate concepts, and use logical reasoning to solve problems. Nevertheless, it's important to note that being intelligent does not necessarily mean that we are wise according to God's standards.

On the other hand, smartness or cleverness refers to the ability to apply acquired knowledge in practical and meaningful ways. Smart people possess the humility to learn from everything and everyone around them. They understand that wisdom is not limited to their own experiences but can be found in the diverse perspectives and insights of others. Smart people seek growth, constantly expanding their understanding and adapting to new situations.

The Bible showcases many individuals who demonstrated wisdom through their intelligence and cleverness. One such figure is King Solomon, who was celebrated for his wisdom. He was a keen observer and took the time to learn from others (Proverbs 1:5, 9:9). He understood the value of seeking knowledge beyond his own understanding.

The apostle Paul was highly regarded for his intelligence and teachings, and he recognized the importance of learning from different sources. He received education from Gamaliel, a respected Pharisee, and engaged in discussions with diverse groups to gain a broader perspective (Acts 22:3, 17:22-34). Paul's wisdom was not only a result of his intellect but also his willingness to learn from others.

Contrasting with intelligence and smartness, the Bible warns us about the dangers of foolishness and arrogance. Proverbs 12:15 reminds us, "The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice." The kind of stupidity being referred to here involves disregarding the wisdom of others and assuming that one knows everything.

As followers of Christ, we are instructed to welcome the wisdom that solely originates from God. James 1:5 advises us to pursue wisdom from above, which is pure, peaceful, gentle, reasonable, and merciful (James 3:17). To develop understanding, we need to humbly acquire knowledge and comprehension, be receptive to learning from different sources such as Scripture, wise mentors, and the diverse Christian community.

It's important to remember that true wisdom is about more than just being smart or knowledgeable. It's also about being humble enough to learn, adapt, and apply God's truth in our lives. Combining intelligence with God's wisdom allows us to handle life's challenges, strengthen our relationships, and honor our Heavenly Father.

Please pray with me:
Gracious Father, we thank You for the gift of intelligence and the ability to learn. Lord, help us seek Your wisdom above all else and humbly learn from those around us. Grant us the discernment to recognize the difference between intelligence and true wisdom. May our lives be marked by a spirit of humility as we grow in understanding and apply Your truth in our daily lives. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

May you be blessed as you embrace wisdom and walk in the light of God's truth with love and prayers.

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