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“Khan, I am laughing at the superior intellect.”

December 9, 2014


We have a saying in Narcotics Anonymous that goes something like this, “I have never met anyone too dumb to get clean and sober, but I have met those who are too smart to ever get it.”  In my over 35 years of clean time in recovery I have seen a lot of addicts come and go, and live and die and many have proven the statement given above to be true.  It really does seem that some don’t get clean because their intellect gets in their way.  Because of this they are unable to surrender to a simple 12 step lifestyle that could save them and help them avoid the troubles and woes that addiction brings.  Problem is that when one has a grand intellect they sometimes try to think themselves out of terrible situations, instead of simply surrendering their will and life to God and HIS will for them.

The fact is that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up and the man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” (1 Corinthians 8)  When we are “puffed” up in this manner it is difficult to see anything except what is in our own big head.  This is true of any problem that we face in this life and not just addiction.  We really think we know better than even God in many situations and because of this we become our own worst enemy.  Intellectual pride is a HUGE obstacle to overcome, because “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (James 4:6)  And let me tell you God’s grace, His unmerited favor, has gotten me out of more bad situations than my own best thinking ever has.  In fact it is usually my own best thinking that gets me into the negative situations that HIS grace eventually pulls me out of.

Don’t get me wrong, a healthy intellect is something we could all benefit from.  The problems come when we elevate our intellect to a place equal or above God’s will and ways.  “For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:19)  It all boils down to what I have said here before..we “need to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)  The key here is EVERY thought and not just the ones we think could be wrong or misguided. Because what might be right and prudent in one situation could be 100% wrong in the next.  I think it is a HUGE problem when we pre-approve certain thoughts by our own carnal reasoning.  When we do that we are just playing God and the potential for negative consequences is very high.  The thing we need to always remember is God’s will, NOT my will, even when my will looks more feasible and attractive at the time.  Because, “The foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

Love and…….

Kirk Out !

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  1. Glad you wrote about it . Interesting, lately I have heard a lot of people are measuring somebody else’s intellect but does this simply mean we have no real love?

  2. It may surprise you to read this but, Nee had something to say along these lines as well. Though he, himself was by all accounts brilliant, he said he felt sorry for clever people because they would always figure a way out without having to depend on God.

    • So true Chris. I am re-reading Nee like crazy, and finding so much benefit. In fact we had one of our house church members recently share how his ‘Sit, Walk, Stand’ has turned her life around in these last months. Her testimony powerfully touched our whole group. I wish more would benefit from Nee’s writings.

  3. Skylla Moon permalink

    Oh how true Chris. My thinking must be re-newed – reprogrammed if you will. I remember when I first realized that taking every thought captive would be a moment by moment, thought by thought “chore” and I lamented “This is going to be SO MUCH WORK!” Now if that isn’t the height of stupidity I don’t know what is. Our adversary certainly does not want us to speak truth and will do everything to distract, detain and overwhelm us but LOL he’s already defeated – totally! Quieting this mind is a skill I hope to achieve soon! By grace, He will do it in me. I cannot do anything!

  4. Why is it that intelligence and applied logic are always conflated with megalomania? Knowledge *can* puff-up, but it doesn’t follow that this is *always* the case. (This usually only happens in shows like Star Trek; “Pray to me Jim! Pray that you die easily!!”)

    American culture, in case you haven’t noticed is not terribly reflective. Thinking is always forced to justify itself by producing better technology of some sort. Yet intelligence is always on trial when unhinged passions are really the culprit.

    C.S. Lewis once said losing what he learned from Plato would be like losing his right arm. Jesus said to be “Wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” To paraphrase Lewis, “God will certainly not love a second-rate brain any less, but He does insist on using every scrap of brains and common sense you have.”

    I fear the tendency of this post is to coddle the intellectual slacker, and-tie-into-knots the desire to acquire knowledge with dread this will lead to vanity.

    Socrates was modest in the extreme. It was his intelligence the pricked the pride of others that made them hate him.

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