“Are You Wise, or Just Blowing Smoke?”
Wisdom is justified by what it produces.
Matthew 11:19 (mck)
Do you want others to think you’re wise? The simplest way is to smoke a pipe.
Don’t worry about the brand of tobacco nor the pipe style. They don’t matter. But you must – and I repeat myself for emphasis – you must have good matches that light on the first strike, or you’ll look incompetent.
Okay, the stage is set: now you must wait until a friend asks you a question, such as, “What is the price of tea in China?”
Pick up your pipe, and tamp the tobacco in the bowl with your index finger. (Don’t do anything fast or it won’t work.)
“Well,” you say.
Light a match, get a good draw, lean back in your chair and puff on your pipe a couple times.
With the pipe between your teeth you say, “It all depends.” Now, slowly take the pipe out of your mouth, point the mouthpiece at your friend, and deliver your line, “It all depends. . . on how much it costs.”
It works! (Okay, maybe it’s more effective for men than women, but it does work.)
Some of you, however, don’t really care if you appear wise; you want to be wise. You are the difficult ones to please.
The first thing to realize is that wisdom is not based on intelligence.
was a Stanford psychology professor who dedicated a lifetime of
research to study geniuses. He began in 1921 by locating 1470 children
with IQs over 140. These geniuses, called “Terman’s Termites,” were tracked into adulthood. Would they have better jobs? Better psychological health? Better marriages?
Terman published several volumes of research on these geniuses, called Genetic Studies of Genius. After compiling a mountain of research, Terman discovered that highly intelligent people are no more likely to be successful in life than anyone else.
Wisdom is not about being intelligent; it is about knowing and living what is True. And that is where the spiritual merges with the “real world.” The deepest source of wisdom is the truth that the
Lord reveals. Jesus said that wisdom is justified by her works. If
someone claims to be wise, in other words, we should look to what that
The Bible says that all of God’s wisdom is found in Jesus. If you doubt that, look at what Jesus’ wisdom produces. The life touched by his grace is a beautiful thing.
For those of you who only want to appear wise, you might also try cultivating a British accent.