I was slow to give in, but when I decided to go to an iPhone it wasn’t long before I was “all in.” I liked the phone so much that when I found a reconditioned outgoing model MacBook at an electronics store I jumped at the discount and haven’t looked back. Apple products are popular for good reason; they work and they work well. The phenomenal success of Apple is largely due to the genius of its founder, Steve Jobs.
Jobs was more than remarkable, most would agree he was a genius. Beginning with a workshop in his garage and a [$1500] loan, Job’s vision, creativity and pursuit of excellence led Apple to the top. Sadly, his battle with cancer ended on [date] and the world lost a brilliant man.
As a result of his leadership millions of people’s lives are better. Apple computers have positively impacted nearly every field; from professionals in education, design, research, medicine and publishing (to name but a few) to the everyday consumer who uses an iPhone or an iPod.
Steve Jobs’ success was not purely due to his genius development of micro technology and innovative ideas for processing data. His influence on people made the difference. While not all of his personal and managerial skills would be considered exemplary (It has been said that Jobs was known for striking fear in the heart of his employees), his ability to inspire his workers to seek perfection in discovery and design multiplied his influence.
Today, from management to the young representatives in their stores, Apple employees carry Jobs’ confidence and commitment to excellence. Choosing to endow their Apple store technicians with the title of “genius” is not arrogance. It is an expectation of excellence as well as a sign of confidence in their staff.
But what is true “genius”? One helpful definition states, “Generally, it is accepted that a genius is not only someone with a very high IQ but also someone who breaks new ground with new ideas, discoveries, inventions or even works of art.”[i] Using Merriam-Webster’s definition of genius, clearly Jobs had “extraordinary intellectual power especially as manifested in creative activity” and was “endowed with transcendent mental superiority.”[ii] I particularly appreciate this definition because of one word – “endowed.” Jobs’ abilities were developed with discipline and hard work, but the essence of his capabilities came from His Creator.
Whereas there may be little the average person has in common with the genius of Steve Jobs, we may nevertheless enjoy a far greater potential than most of us realize. The same God Who created Einstein, Newton, and Mozart also created you. Your only limitation is His will. You can be anything He allows you to be and accomplish anything He enables you to accomplish.
Knowing this, many people have made the mistake of trying to “use” God to accomplish their own goals. This is a terrible blunder for many reasons, not the least of which is that our goals are far too limited and small compared to His will for us.
Few things are more tragic in life than wasted potential. The fact we must face is that even if we were endowed with the intellect and creativity of a genius we still would not reach our potential outside of a real and personal relationship with Christ.
We must understand that it is much more desirable to be truly wise than to be a genius. Scripture teaches us that the “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Pr. 9:10). We are told to “get wisdom” (Pr. 4:5) and to “seek for wisdom as for silver” (Pr. 2:4).
Wisdom is not only knowledge; it is the correct application of that knowledge. However much parents love their children and however smart they think they are, few would entrust their jewelry to them. The children simply are not wise enough to know how to care for such valuables.
Similarly, the average person, even those who are sincere Christ-followers, may go through life playing marbles with diamonds. We may look back one day and realize we daily allowed priceless treasures to pass through our hands never realizing their worth.
Every true treasure will be wasted without wisdom. Our health, relationships, resources, and opportunities never reach their potential outside of God’s guidance and enablement.
Unfortunately, too many are “wise in their own eyes” (Pr. 12:15). Their pride attempts to cover their inadequacies and they are not teachable. Destined to live in the “shallows” their growth is stymied. Only a real and personal relationship with Christ through humble surrender can rescue them from eternal insignificance.
Would you be wise? Seek the Lord. Look to Him in reverence and awe. Admit your utter inability to accomplish anything of eternal value without Him. Open the Bible and say, “O Lord, Teach me and make me truly wise!”
[i] Internet: http://www.aboutintelligence.co.uk/phenomenon-genius.html accessed October 19, 2011.