Harnessing the intellect
A young child pounds, pounds, pounds, on anything and everything with the hammer he's just received as a gift. Later he discovers that all the pounding isn't necessary. He learns the hammer is just a tool for something much better than pounding -- building.
So it often is withour intellects.
No one should deny the great good in truly progressive intellectual development. Such abilities as reason, vision, analysis, comprehension -- to name but a few -- speak of a strong intellect. And these abilites not only are normal and right but can enrich happy, purposeful living.
Yet it's wise also to beware of allowing the development and use of the intellect to become an end in itself rather than a tool serving a constructive purpose. If things go this way, the exercise of intellect can become an ego game, often leaving the possessor feeling unhappy and unfulfilled, in need of learning how to channel intellectual energy.
The Apostle Paul pointed to a healthy intellectual model when he said, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." n1
n1 Philippians 2:5;
What was the mind that was in Christ Jesus? Christian Science teaches that the source of Jesus' thoughts, far from being biologically and neurologically based, was God. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes simply, "God is the parent Mind, and man is God's spiritual offsping." n2 Elsewhere in the same book she says, "Mind alone possesses all faculties, perception, and comprehension." n3
n2 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 336;
n3 ibid.,m p. 488;
According to Christian Science, there is one Mind, because Mind is God and there is one God. This Mind is not divided into little parcels for individual people to possess. Man, as "God's spiritual offspring," forever expresses Mind's qualities, including intelligencE, vision, acuity.
Christ Jesus illustrated Mind with his entire life. What can we conclude about his intellect? It was certainly not dull or underdeveloped. Nor did he display the slightest arrogance in his use of mental power. On the contrary, through Jesus' sharply focused questions and answers to his disciples (and his critics!) we can see an active, healthy intellect.
Yet at all times Jesus' intellect served his great healing mission. It left him neither cold nor aloof nor impotent. With such power of intellect came a deep compassion for people and an unfailing ability to complete the practical work of healing sickness and sin. "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work," n4 he said.
n4 John 5:17.
And therein lies the question we should perhaps ask about our own intellect.Does it only serve our personal ends? Is it being used merely to make us richer, raise our status, enable us to win at intellectual one-upmanship? Or does it help us help others in better and better ways? Does it forward God's purpose?
There are problems confronting mankind today that challenge our ability even to understand their scope. How can we comprehend the crushing droughts and desert creep that are destroying precious food sources? Or entire villages of innocent people slaughtered by an aggressor? Even the cream of human genius is not coming to grips with such problems.
But the intellect that reflects God can bring solutions.
And as we begin to let our purpose more fully express God, we'll discover the intellectual power needed to solve such problems.And we'll find ourselves not only with greater mental ability, but also with stronger, happier relationships. And we'll be a contributing part of the world, working out its problems. DAILY BIBLE VERSE The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord. Isaiah 11:9