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Why did God give some people a higher IQ than He gave others?


higher IQ
Question: "Why did God give some people a higher IQ (intelligence quotient) than He gave others?"

Answer:
Brainiacs. Geniuses. People with high IQ’s can leave the rest of us wondering why we weren’t picked for brilliance. Some people are splitting atoms while others are struggling to learn the alphabet. Why is there such a huge discrepancy between the brilliant and the learning disabled? If IQ levels are within God’s power to grant us, wouldn’t He enjoy us more if we were all Einsteins?

Apparently not. God does not assign value the way we do. In fact, God delights in confusing the brilliant and exalting the lowly. First Corinthians 1 surprises us. Verse 19 says, “For it is written: ‘I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate’” (cf. Isaiah 29:14). Then Paul explains why: “For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). In other words, we do not come to know God on the basis of mental prowess. Being “smart” does not necessarily mean that a person will think of God. God has chosen to put His message of salvation “on the bottom shelf” so that we must bend low to receive it. Jesus said we must become like little children in order to enter the kingdom of heaven (Mark 10:15). We often have to set aside what we think we know in order to receive greater truths from God. Those with high intellect often struggle to accept by faith what cannot be comprehended by the mind.

First Corinthians 1:27–29 says, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” Every human being is a unique creation, crafted in God’s workshop (Psalm 139:13–16). He designed us the way He wants us for His own purposes (Colossians 1:16). Even our defects and flaws, part of living in a broken world, can bring Him great glory when we allow Him to live His life through us (Galatians 2:20). Jesus said of a man born blind that God had allowed the blindness in order to bring about a higher purpose (John 9:1–3). The same can be said of those with lower intellect. Despite learning challenges, they may be equipped to bless the world, honor the Lord, and bear eternal fruit for God’s kingdom in ways not possible for someone with a higher IQ.

God distributes gifts as He sees fit, and anyone can serve the Lord. There are some tasks in this world that require a higher IQ than others, and God has wisely ensured those tasks get done. But our trust is never to be in man’s natural understanding, which can lead astray (Proverbs 3:5–6; 28:26). And the Bible warns of the danger of pride that comes with increased knowledge (1 Corinthians 8:1). God is good to all. There are certain blessings associated with having a high IQ, but there are other blessings—simpler, perhaps, but just as blessed—that those with a high IQ may never know.

Life is not “fair.” Some people struggle more than others. Some people are richer, more attractive, healthier, and smarter than other people. But God sees the potential He placed in each of us and expects a return on that investment (see the parable in Matthew 25:14–30). God knows what He gave the genius and what He gave the feeble-minded. The one who uses all God gave him for God’s glory is the smartest. IQ has little to do with comprehending spiritual truths, and, in the grand scheme of things, knowing God and walking in His way are all that matters.

Recommended Resource: Knowing God by J.I. Packer

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Related Topics:

What does it mean that God is a God of justice?

Is God cruel?

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Is God dead?

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Why did God give some people a higher IQ than He gave others?

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