Smarty Pants2:30 AM
A smart person simply happens to have sharp mental faculties. A too-smart person has the same, with one mutation: they're tinted with pride. It's an entire personality of sarcasm, conceit, indifference and elitism. Talking with a smart person, you feel smarter. Talking with a too-smart person, you feel like an idiot.
Smart people love ideas and thinking things through and asking questions and positing opinions. Too-smart people love ripping things apart and leaving their opponents in the ashes: they don't even bother with a fair debate, as they already know the outcome and simply cut the chase and get to the point -- your utter demise.
Too-smart people tend to congregate in elite groups, remaining unsullied from stupidity and ignorance. Smart people typically mingle with all sorts of ages and stages. Too-smart people are conscious of their smarts. Smart people aren't. (That's why they're smart.)
The most dangerous thing about being too-smart, however, is that it completely ignores the plain and simple truths. They get bogged down in ridiculous hypotheses and new movements and strange ideas -- anything to escape common sense. This they call "enlightenment," but really, it's the greatest form of ignorance. When ignorance gets smart, bad things happen. Ridiculous things -- like the unwashed masses pulling an emperor-has-no-clothes on the elites.
I want to be smart enough to not fall for a lie and not smart enough to invent the lie myself.
Unfortunately for me, I have tendencies toward being too-smart without the actual faculties or composure or quick wit. I'm doubly the fool. It's awful. Even I'm simpleminded enough to see that. In any case, I fell for the smart lie that smart people don't do simple. I spent the majority of my school years pushing myself to study the smart stuff -- Beowulf and theology and economics. Theology especially. (I think my mother dreaded when I looked up from my tome and said, "You know, Mom....")
This created problems. We live in a small town with simple folk who didn't know what supralapsarianism is right off the bat. We attend a church of plain, fundamental Baptists who understand that Jesus saves and the world is bad and are content to stick with that. They didn't understand basic terminology: I got laughed out of town when I asked a visiting preacher whether he did topical or expository preaching. (The preacher, I'll have you know, later congratulated me on my weirdness and recommended I learn Greek.)
I wasn't growing. I heard basic Bible teaching. I sat under normal Sunday school teachers and Bible college students. I was starved for a heated debate on something important -- something deep -- something theological -- something that included the parsing of a Greek verb. What was wrong with everybody?
I don't know when it dawned on me or when conviction pinched hard, but somewhere along the line, I looked in the soul mirror and was horrified to find this smart person twisted up in pride and rank ignorance. I had been so concerned over correct wording and perfect theology that I had missed the greater commandments of loving God, loving others, dying to self and humbly submitting. I had puffed myself up with theological air while the simple believers around me were filled with the Spirit -- wanting to know basic truth and share it with others. Wanting to know God. Wanting to please Him. Wanting to walk worthy of His name.
How much I missed on my island of elitism, I don't know -- but I don't want to miss any more. Jesus said that little children understand God and the Gospel better (maybe because they can't pronounce supralapsarianism). It is the meek who inherit the earth -- not the smart. It takes not merely an intelligent but a wise person to understand that the hardest truths to grasp are the ones that are the simplest.
And since I want to be smart, I'm going to listen to the simple. Humbly. Whether they know about supralapsarianism or not.