This age old question has stumped numerous scholars, scientists, and teachers, who search for an answer to no avail. Intelligence quotient tests have been run, percentage grades handed out in the classroom, and somehow those numbers are supposed to define our intelligence level. For an incomprehensible reason our culture finds a need to determine how smart a human is by a figure stamped on their papers. Our brains have been unhinged, picked at by prying fingers, and scrutinized under a microscope. Society chooses certain pieces of knowledge that seem to have meaning and base your intellect solely on those portions. They mold everything we know into the exact categories they choose and determine how smart you are by how much of your knowledge can fit into that minuscule box. Why? What drives us to do this?
I believe it is because we are afraid. We are terrified of what might come if we allow the infinite knowledge on topics that have nothing to do with mathematics, sciences, or liberal arts to take up space in the “brilliant” category. We are fearful, possibly of the lack of sophistication and prestige that accompany other ideas. We are adamant that brilliance can only be defined in numbers or figures.
There is no way to test intelligence. It is impossible to measure an abstract idea that is based solely on opinion. There is no telling how much a person may know. One may be extremely advanced in mathematics but not well versed in social graces. Another may be artistic and creative, yet failing in sciences. Who is to judge which of us are wise or knowledgeable? Who is to declare certain people to be brilliant? Nobody has that type of authority except for God.
If one were to attempt to test intelligence, they would have to design millions of quizzes customized solely for a particular person. These tests would have to examine their knowledge in every single subject that has ever existed. It would be impossible. Not only would they have to test how much they know, but how well they can apply that knowledge to reality and to benifit the rest of the outside world.
Determining intelligence can be shown by a graph. Imagine these equations:
14= 3x + 7y
28= 6x + 14y.
Despite the fact that both equations consist of different numbers, there are an infinite amount of solutions where the lines based on the equations would cross. Because, they are both the same line on a graph.
One’s intellect level could fall anywhere on the line, but there is not enough information known to figure out exactly where. The possibilities are limitless.
But yet, society finds a drive to place us in certain places on the line, based on what they value. Intelligence can’t be measured. Everyone is brilliant in their own special way, each individual shining a different color of light.
Remember, you are intelligent. You are knowledgeable. You are wise. You don’t need everyone else to tell you exactly how smart you are, because it doesn’t matter what they think. It only matters what God thinks of you. He sees you as beautiful, brilliant, and His beloved. He died a painful death so that you could be with Him. He wants to live eternity with you. He doesn’t care whether you got an A or a C on your report card, as long as you tried your best. There is no need to hope that those around you think you are smart because of a number. God only cares if you work your hardest for Him. In the end, those percentages and figures will fade away like everything else in this world. Recognizing that He the only one who’s opinion matters, that is truly intelligent.