I’m not sure of the accuracy of this story, but Alan Smith in his excellent “Thought for the Day” tells it for the truth!
Mensa is an organization whose members have an IQ of 140 or higher. A few years ago, there was a Mensa convention in San Francisco, and several members lunched at a local cafe. While dining, they discovered that their salt shaker contained pepper and their pepper-shaker was full of salt. How could they swap the contents of the bottles without spilling, and using only the implements at hand? Clearly this was a job for Mensa! The group debated and presented ideas, and finally came up with a brilliant solution involving a napkin, a straw, and an empty saucer. They called the waitress over to dazzle her with their solution.
“Ma’am,” they said, “we couldn’t help but notice that the pepper-shaker contains salt and the salt shaker….”
“Oh,” the waitress interrupted. “Sorry about that.” She unscrewed the caps of both bottles and switched them!
This story clearly illustrates that being smart is not the same as being wise. One can possess a great deal of knowledge, but lack wisdom. Nor does High IQ always translate into the practical application of daily living.
Wisdom living is needed is we are to make the most of our opportunities, please God and apply His will to our lives. This is the second in a three-part post from Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 5:15-17
“Be very careful, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is”
To really live wise, we must realize there are two kinds of wisdom: Worldly wisdom and Spiritual wisdom. The Bible teaches that worldly wisdom is based on that which is earthly. It’s not spiritually based. It appeals to the lusts of the flesh. The lusts of the eyes. And the boastful pride of life. It produces bitterness. Envy. Jealousy. Selfish ambition. Disorder. And evil practices. Now, if you doubt this is so, just watch the news for a couple of days! The sad state of our society confirms the folly of following worldly wisdom (I John 2:15-17; James 3:13-16).
Conversely there is a wisdom that comes from following the will of God. It’s wisdom based upon spiritual precepts and principles. It originates from the divine nature of God. And the nobility of lofty thinking. It is wisdom unmixed by guile. It is gentle. Peaceable. Merciful. Considerate. Impartial. Sincere. Submissive. (James 3:17-18). Objectively look at a Christian man or woman who is guided by God’s wisdom without partiality and hypocrisy, and you will see what I mean!
The Days are Evil
The importance of wisdom living is underscored by the fact we live in perilous times. The days are evil. People are ungodly. And the world is trying to squeeze us into it’s mold. However, we must resist. Don’t be foolish. Don’t follow are the folly of carnal enticements. Sensual allurements. Or worldly wisdom.
I know there have always been evil days. Sin is the perpetual problem of human kind. And temptation is common challenge we’ve always faced. Yet this is a unique era. Technology has changed everything. Information is instant. Temptation is just a click away. And the engagement in sin just a nanosecond This calls for careful living. Greater wisdom. Moral restraint.
Making the Most of Our Opportunities
If we are going to make the most of our lives, our time, and our opportunities, we must engage in careful living. Wisdom Living. And recognition of the challenges that daily confront us. Tomorrow I’m going to share a three-step process that will help us make the most of our opportunities. But for now my advice to all Christians would be Paul’s admonition: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Col 4:5)
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman