Praying With a Pen
Original quote by Jackie Hill Perry: Being smarter than someone doesn't make you better than anyone"
How we value ourselves is how we value others. If my worth is in the amount of knowledge I accumulate, and I accumulate a lot, I look down on others who don't have what I do. Conversely, if I don't have as much facts memorized as much as the next person, I bring myself down.
It becomes a constant game of comparison and validation seeking. I do everything I can to meet these self-imposed standards for "smartness" and I lose sight of God because I'm not looking at Him.
If I'm doing all it takes to be the smartest, then I'm not doing everything it takes to be the best discipline I can be. I can't follow two masters. I go left or right, south or north.
Jackie Hill Perry reminds us that "wisdom isn't [even] about what we know but about WHO we know" (1). This isn't about having connections to the right people but having A connection with the Right Person. She explains that wisdom starts with the fear of our God, through being hugely aware of how powerful He really is.
In other words, find a way to spend time with Him. Discover what works for you in regards to meditating on His words and on His teachings, in order to get to know Who He is, how much He loves you and to receive whatever He wants to give to you.
I recommend reading Praying With a Pen to get ideas on how prayer-journaling can look (yes, there's a whole book on this and it's a great one!) (2).
In regards to wisdom-seeking, I highly encourage you guys to check out Jackie's talk that I've added below. It is so rich in directing us on how to seek wisdom and allowing God's Word to transform us. I hope you appreciate her humor, her story, and her gift of speaking.
In short, reading books, learning new skills, and developing ourselves personally and professionally is awesome! When we seek this more than we seek God however, we become self-reliant and forget Who's we are and why He put us here. In that position, it's easy to develop a distorted view of self and others.
If we all want to be more like Christ, would it not make sense to compare ourselves to Him rather than to others? (1) Rather than asking ourselves "how can I be smarter than them?", let's ask ourselves "how can I be better than I was yesterday by being more like Him?"
Also, we don't like being judged so why are we judging? (there are legitimate answers for this such as low self-worth, that doesn't change over night, but you get what point I'm making here).
And so, we learn to place our worth where it belongs: as God's baby girl. We may look different, speak in different languages, live different lives but we're all walking through times of suffering and times of joy while striving to be more Christ-like.