Dumb Down for What?

You may be familiar with the song “Turn Down for What?”, and its connotation related to sexual activity. However, I want to ask you what and who are you dumbing down for? One of the important assets of our society is knowledge. Before the emergence of the Internet, I didn’t know I would want to access new information everyday on a wide range of topics. It seems that new thoughts about researching the benefits of different foods, the effects of medicine or herbs, product reviews, and other viable information prompts me to its discovery. However, during my escapades of numerous data inquiries, I have managed to complete several online college courses and certification training.

What Do You Know?

During our acquisition of knowledge from kindergarten to college, the abundance of information that is presented to us can be overwhelming particularly when deadlines are attached to our requirement of education possession. Whether interested or not, we must prove that we have gained a significant amount of understanding of concepts when taking exams in order to progress to the next level. Throughout the process, many variables influence our quest to attain knowledge. Examples of these variables are parents, teachers, and peers. Additionally, a competitive spirit can also play an intricate role in our educational development. Without these prompters, the need to gain knowledge would only be optional, therefore leaving the majority of humans to intellectual chance.

After acquiring a considerable amount of knowledge, we have choices regarding economic, spiritual, and other pursuits in life. We also have the option to become an influencer in various aspects. If the knowledge you like to share is attractive to others, the probability of gaining a loyal following can be very high. However, everyone who may follow you may not be as loyal as you desire. Their level of interest may not be as sincere as those who want to grasp what you’re sharing in order to improve their lives. Your non-loyal followers’ intent may be based on their curiosity about your topic choices, ability to attract a crowd, or to evaluate your level of knowledge to discover areas of deficiency they can use as evidence for their malicious reports. Whatever their mission is, you don’t have to dumb down to accommodate their intellectual inadequacies.

Grow and Wax Strong

From the time Jesus was born, threats were made to discontinue his life. King Herod felt threatened because he presumed that Jesus would take his position. Contrary to his behalf,  King Herod’s life ended before Jesus reached the age of five. When guided by the angel to move Mary and Jesus to Israel, Joseph decided that it was safer to move to Nazareth because King Herod’s son Herod Archelaus was his successor in Judaea. This safety provision allowed Jesus to develop intellectually, physically, and spiritually as intended by God his Father. Luke 2:40 (KJV) says … “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.”

This provision suggests that Jesus’ living situation may not have been ideal as it relates to him being a royal king with access to all of the amenities and services that one of such status is entitled to. However, the situation allowed the child to be nurtured in an environment where God could equip him for future resilience against his enemy’s strategies.

One situation in particular that Jesus had to be resilient in both mentally and emotionally was when the Jews sought to kill him. John 7 describes how Jesus avoided walking in Jewry because of the threat against his life. Advised by his brethren to go to Judaea so that Jesus’ disciples could see his works although they did not believe in his works, Jesus told them that his time had not yet come to show himself to the world which indicates his level of humility. On the contrary, most people who have a special gift or talent typically rush to take advantage of every opportunity to show the world what they’re made of. This type of motivation is usually driven by money attached to the opportunity.

Jesus understood that the type of work or talent his brothers would show to others would not generate a negative response like his work would. (See John 7:7). He knew that he would be hated because he would call out evil works and disapprove self righteous attitudes. Not wanting to make a scene at the annual feast, Jesus made his entrance quietly. It is noted that some who believed in Jesus spoke kind of him among themselves fearing the Jews would disagree with their opinion, while others doubted his motive although questioning his whereabouts as if they were sincerely concerned. (See John 7:11).

An Obscure Debut

Jesus had an opportunity to teach in the temple intriguing some and catching others by surprise. John 7:15 says … “And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” Verse 16 says … “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” Again, taking the lowly position, he accredited his knowledge to God.

The interesting part about this story is how the scribes and Pharisees were in constant pursuit to find anything they could to discredit Jesus. They spent a lot of time watching him and following him, but they could not find out how he acquired the level of knowledge his possessed. They prided themselves in knowing the law, but why did he know things they didn’t know? Who taught him secretly? They were amazed because they discounted him as being anyone who was thought to be notable in their society especially a king.

Has this happened to you especially among those who know you? Mark 6:1 gives an account of how Jesus went to his own country. Verse 2 says … “And when the Sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? And what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. But Jesus, said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his house. And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.”

Is anyone offended because of what you know?

They Don’t Understand Because They Don’t Know

If anyone has shown discontent because you’ve shared what you know, and it’s not the average level of thinking, don’t dumb down. Your critics don’t know what you’ve been through. No one wants to  go through trials, however, it’s through trials that you become mature and wise. James 1:2-4 says … “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.”

Be Proud of What You Know and Give God the Glory

When you’re going through challenges, your critics don’t see the pain and suffering you deal with silently neither do they care. On the other hand, some people may know about your circumstances, but they may be too busy predicting your demise or bleak future. They may also identify you as your circumstance instead of seeing you as an individual who has experienced a challenge. What they fail to see is God’s work in you regarding character development, emotional and mental healing as well as the spiritual education you’ve acquired through His School of Wisdom.

If you’re blessed with an opportunity to share with others your testimony, knowledge of the Word, or revelation about something else, represent God to the best of your ability. Some people want you to dumb down because they know that they haven’t studied to show themselves approved (See II Timothy 2:15), or they want you to remain in the status they enjoy talking about regarding your inability to move beyond what you’ve been through. If God has brought you through a myriad of challenges, or you’re coming out of a devastating situation with your sanity intact, don’t dumb down to appease those who only want you to cater to their ego or insecurities.

Now I’m not saying you should be loud, boisterous, and overbearing with your knowledge because there is a time and place for everything. You must use wisdom as the Holy Spirit reveals to you how people perceive you and your knowledge because you don’t want to turn people off particularly those who are genuinely interested in what you have to say.  Eccelesiates 3:7 says … “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;”

If you’re going to school to obtain a degree, studying the Bible on your own, or have acquired a significant amount of knowledge, keep seeking that which can help you become a better person intellectually and spiritually so that you can be as Paul admonished the people of Colasse to do.

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man (Colossians 4:5-6).

Stay Blessed and Keep Learning!