As I was walking the other day, I was thinking about a decision I made that didn’t turn out so well. The term “stupid” came to mind. I realized I shouldn’t use that term for myself. Soon I was aware that the word had come to my mind 3 or 4 times in just a few minutes. I wondered if this word was part of my inner thoughts more often than I realized. As I was looking at God’s amazing creation, I considered how God might feel about my constant use of that word. Immediately, I felt Him say, “It makes me sad.” I heard Him say in my heart, “Don’t call what I made stupid. I love you.” I thought of all the wonderful truths in His word.
“I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love…” Jeremiah 31:3
Yet, I didn’t know what word to use instead of “stupid”. I felt…stupid. Should I say, I “made a mistake”? I made a “poor decision”?
I pondered on the truth that God never views me as “stupid”. I am 61 years old and I have always struggled with this name. Maybe it’s because I remember my dad calling my mom “stupid” on numerous occasions. Maybe because once in frustration he made a statement comparing me to a mentally challenged person we knew (Don’t misunderstand – I know my dad loved me wholeheartedly. It was just that one time but I remember it.) Maybe because I struggled with math my entire life, which always made me feel…you know. Or maybe it is because we are all sinners and aware of how weak we are. We are all prone to listen to those negative voices in our head whether it comes from the past, from the world or from our enemy. I am realizing I have to let this word go. It has been a barb in my heart too long.
“Stupid” is defined as “lacking intelligence or common sense. (Slow, simple-minded)” The word “stupid” actually strikes fear in my heart.
The fear it might be true.
In looking at the words of Jesus, it isn’t about being stupid; it is about being either wise or foolish. And the only thing that makes a person foolish is to ignore the teaching of God and go his or her own way. The wise person loves and listens to God. The foolish person won’t listen to His truth and does what they want. There are probably as many different levels of intelligence in the world as there are people. Our intelligence does not determine our worth.
Paul quotes Isaiah in 1 Corinthians 1:19 “For it is written, ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.’”
The wisest person might be the one with the lowest IQ if that person is following God with all their heart. Paul continues,
“But God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” 1 Corinthians 1:27
There is danger in being too “smart” in this world. As Paul warned in 1 Corinthians 3:18, “Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise.”
Perhaps I need to focus as Paul did on being a “fool for Christ.” 1 Corinthians 4:10a
When I read 1 Corinthians 1:30, my heart sings,
“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”
What beautiful truth! Jesus is my wisdom! I think what I need to remember when the “S” word comes to mind is what Paul said in 1:31 “Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.’” Focusing on myself and whether or not I am stupid, smart or whatever is just pride. Anything and everything I am and have is a gift from Him including any “wisdom” I have.
My goal when the word “stupid” comes to mind is to remember to thank Jesus for being my wisdom and to repent of pride.
Do you struggle with a “label” like stupid? Let Jesus replace it with “loved”.
Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions