Why do smart people often do such dumb things?
We’ve all seen it thousands of times. It runs the spectrum, from the very questionable decisions made leading up to the Gulf Oil Spill disaster to very simple, even inconsequential things in everyday life. There is even a successful TV show, Undercover Boss, that deals somewhat “undercover” with this very issues.
In many ways, it is the difference between “head knowledge” and “street smarts.”
Let me give a simple example, one I deal with nearly every working day:
My employer sells a huge quantity of a particular, major brand, refrigerated cookie dough. It’s good stuff!
The entire manufacturing process, packaging process and distribution process have been developed by some pretty smart people. But there is one small, irksome problem with the packaging. You see, the bar code, which must be scanned each time a package of this cookie dough is sold to a final customer, is located under a folded flap in the packaging process. Each time this product is scanned, the flap has to be folded back to uncover the bar code. This must happen thousands of times each day.
OK, this is really a very minor thing in my life. I scan so much of this stuff, my fingers actually do a better automatic job of flipping that flap than they do typing.
But this little thing got me to thinking about the difference between “head knowledge” and “street smarts.” The person or persons who designed this package and the packaging process are most likely highly experienced and educated. But they also most likely have never “scanned” this product at the point of sale. They missed a critical step in the process.
The Book of Proverbs is also known as the “Book of Wisdom.” It is full of guidance on how to acquire and apply God’s wisdom. Proverbs acknowledges the value of experience and knowledge. But it also shows how these things are of little value in God’s eyes unless we apply them with wisdom.
Heavenly Father, through the power of Your Son and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may I always use my experience and knowledge to Your Glory and in service to Your will. Amen.