For the past two years, my 6th grade son has had the privileged opportunity to go to a school for “highly capable” students. To get into this school you have to score in the top 3% on two separate tests. Let me make it clear, my son’s abilities are a gift straight form God rather than something he inherited from me or my husband’s genes (-smile-). We’re no dummies, yet neither are we that degree of smart – he gets it straight form God!
When we go into the school to drop off or pick up our son, it is easy to see that this school has a much different feel than your typical middle school. Being a people watcher, it is always very interesting for me to observe how these students dress and how they interact with each other, and (if I’m being honest) it can feel somewhat intimidating knowing that every young person I see is smarter than I am! Thankfully, there’s a difference between smarts and wisdom and God prefers the latter.
Just this past week, my husband, daughter, mother-in-law and I were at the school to attend a probability fair. My son had worked hard on his team project and we wanted to show our support. At the fair, I introduced one of my son’s classmates to my mother-in-law. Upon hearing his name, she mentioned that she had taught a student with the same name, but that he then moved to Barbados. She pronounced it Bar Bade Dose. To which he replied, “Actually, I think it’s called ‘Barbados’” and he pronounced it Bar Ba Dose.
One of the things I have noticed about “highly capable” students is that they have no problem correcting adults. If they think they are right about something, they will let you know. They have a hard time recognizing the difference between how they should treat peers and how they should treat elders/authority figures. Therefore, they can come across as disrespectful quite often. It can be a challenge to teach highly capable kids that just because they may be on the same intelligence level as adults, does not mean that time has yet made them “equals” with adults.
Are you “highly capable”? Has God blessed you with great abilities in the ministry He has called you to? How often do you respond to God the same way this 12 year old boy responded to someone five times his age, wisdom and experience? “Actually, God, you don’t know what you’re talking about.” “Actually, I know better than you do.” “Actually, I think you should do it this way.” “Actually. . .” this or “Actually. . .” that. Chances are, you and I come across disrespectfully (albeit unintentionally) at times too. Have you tried to correct God lately? Be honest (-smile-)! When will we realize that time will NEVER make us “equals” with God? Ecclesiastes 5:2 says it like this, “Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.”
May we learn a more appropriate approach for interacting with God. Proverbs 3:5-7 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.”
- Trust Him with all that you are
- Don’t rely on your own smarts or abilities
- Submit to Him in everything (His plans, His ideas, His ways)
- Don’t think yourself wise
- Be in awe of God and turn away from evil
Sometimes all it takes is a gentle correction to get us back on the right track with Almighty God. I am so grateful that He is kind and gracious. He forgives us when we forget that He is our authority and treat Him disrespectfully. In the middle of the abilities and capabilities He has blessed us with, let us not become wise in our own eyes, but rely on His wisdom for everything, that is the true definition of “highly capable”.
Your Friend in Ministry,