“stupid is what stupid does”
Week 8–” The Holy Wild”
“Stupid is what stupid does” is my favorite quote from the movie “Forest Gump” it perfectly describes a person is known by what he does and not by his appearance. Put it simply you are what you do.
After all these years, I have finally learned that just because you know a lot does not mean you are wise. Knowledge is definitely not synonymous with wisdom. Recently, I met up with someone whom I have not seen for a while, and for almost 90 minutes he talked incessantly, it was all about what he knows and what he thinks…..and in the middle of his monologue I found myself drifting off and thinking ” he sure likes the sound of his voice”! So am I impressed by his knowledge? Unfortunately not at all. As the Bible warns us, our knowledge can puff us up and gives us a swell head. ( 1 Corinthians 8;1)
This week as we talked about God’s wisdom in our book study I thought about the two people whom I considered to be influential in my personal growth. The first one is a famous Bible scholar, author and a seminary professor. I love his books and have a few of them gracing my book shelf, and even I never had the privilege to sit in his classes, I had the opportunities to listen to his lectures on tapes. About ten years ago I was blessed to be in a retreat with him as one of the speakers, a man of his standing would be tempted to impress others with his wealth of knowledge, but this man had spent the whole weekend listened intently to his students instead. By asking the right questions at the appropriate time, he had managed to get the acquisitive ones to discover their own answers. I have to say, the thing which impressed me the most is the way he lives his life. Not too long ago I found out to my dismay that he longer teaches at the seminary, because he has gotten so well-known that he could not even get a cup of coffee at the local bookstore without being harassed by admirers. He refuses to be considered as a celebrity and has silently retreated to his home and continues to do what he loves best, to write about his life experience, and shares his wisdom. He is a true sage.
The other person whom I consider to be very wise is my mom. This ninety-two year old woman neither reads or writes, but possesses more wisdom than someone who might have a PhD . She is not perfect at all, and in some ways has unintentionally brought on some issues which I have yet to deal with as an adult. But it is the way she lives her life, she is true to herself, and walks her talks. I have come to believe she might be a closet Christian, and because of her responsibilities and cultural baggage, she will never admit her true belief. But she knows exactly what I need, and often will tell me to “trust your God”, in a way which is not patronizing but encouraging.
These two people are of the opposite ends of the spectrum , one is a learned man and the other an illiterate woman, and from them I could see what Buchanan means when he talks about wisdom:
“Wisdom is more than knowing things;it’s knowing what to do with the things you know.It ‘s the art of living well, living so that you and all around you benefit.” (P.191)
“……By that measure, some of the smartest people in the world are among the stupidest.” They “possessed massive intellects but puny souls. They lacked wisdom. The were cruel, shallow, heartless, selfish.” And ” are prone to make the stupidest choices. Knowledge is no guarantee of wisdom.” ( p. 192)
One thing which astounds me is the reminder that we are,as broken we might be,to show the world God’s wisdom: “His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known….” ( Ephesians 3;10). This is quite a big order for us mere humans, but as Buchanan says “God intends for us to be a testimony to His wisdom. But He leaves us the responsibility of whether or not we’ll fulfill or thwart His intent. On Sundays, you make a choice whether you’ll go to church. But every day, you make a choice whether you’ll be the church—working out your salvation with fear and trembling….” God has not left us without help, He has given us what is needed to live out His wisdom.
“Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”, wisdom does not come from knowing, but from doing what is right in the eyes of God.
A wise man is therefore what a wise man does.