It’s a name we got called on the playground as a kid (or called some other kid on the playground). It was an oft-condoned word in our verbal arsenal against another person. At least there were no washing of the mouth with soap experiences in most situations (although there was one time. . .but that’s another story).
As an educator, that word takes on a different tone. “He’s dumb.” “She’s dumb.” It would be nearly a swear word if uttered by a teacher in today’s classroom about a student.
The good thing is that there a cure for any dummy: get smart (does that make you think of classic slapstick spy television like it does me?? “Lower the cones of silence!”). It sounds funny (maybe even as Don Adams being a superspy) but it’s true. You can stop being dumb (if you really are) by just learning. As the provost at my alma mater used to say, “there is the best of educations available for free at thousands of libraries across the country.”
In James 1:5, the author notes that “If you do not have wisdom, ask God for it. He is always ready to give it to you and will never say you are wrong for asking.” There’s a key in there to notice. Not only can we ask for wisdom but God is waiting to give it to you. Further, he says it’s always right to ask for it. For someone escaping “dumb,” that’s an awesome guarantee.
In II Timothy 2:15, Paul shared the cure to being “dumb” with regards to the Word of God:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
While he said that about the Bible and the things of God, the principle applies to all areas of life.
Many people will think that because I’m an educator, I will insist that this must be formal education that will help you get “undumbified.” After all, I, as my brother would say, am edumacated. Surprisingly, higher education is not the answer to getting un-dumb. Rather, as Paul tells Timothy, you need to study. Timothy wasn’t in school when he was telling him that. He was in real life. It was on the job training. He was getting a School of Hard Knocks Diploma as he was doing that studying.
Don’t get me wrong, formal education is great! In fact, if you would like to consider a degree, let me know as there are many of my clients that would like to talk to you. But don’t let the lack of school stop you from learning.
So how do you start your learning process? As an easily accessible path, start by reading Proverbs and other wisdom literature of the Bible. Focus specifically on what it says about getting wisdom and its affect on life.