When you are immersed in conversation with another human being, the way the discourse unfolds is dependent on the will of God. God is the animator of all activity in creation, including all human activity.
The way our conversations unfold is inevitably surprising — we may enter a conversation such as a business meeting with thoughts and plans, but the conversation is likely to unfold in a way that is different to our expectations. This is part of the game of life God is unfolding, and God is the greatest of schemers.
Imagine an accomplished academic in conversation with a young child. The child may well say something that strikes the academic as very wise, while the academic may be clumsy in their expression. The wisdom expressed by the child is not the result of years of academic study, it is merely the case that God brings an idea to the child’s mind that impacts the academic in a humbling and thought-provoking way. God has all knowledge — there is no one truly wise but God.
It is not necessarily the case that as we advance in years we grow wiser. Actually, with age can come a deterioration of intellect and of the inability to express oneself with the clarity one may have had earlier in life. And it’s not always the case that a teacher is wiser than their students.
The psychologist Alfred Adler spoke about the idea of horizontal and vertical relationships. Horizontal relationships are equal, while in vertical relationships one person is superior and the other inferior. All healthy relationships, no matter the age of those involved, are horizontal relationships. A good teacher will not think them self superior to their students, and a good parent will not think them self superior to their children.
There’s nothing wrong with studying to gain knowledge and understanding. But we should always be humble in our dialogue with others, because we don’t know what nuggets of wisdom God will bring to their mind in an unexpected way, and how we might well be put to shame for thinking ourselves superior to or wiser than another person.
Approach all things with open mind
All have gifts to which we’re blind
Be sensitive to others’ cries
Others, too, are also wise
For more in-depth discussion concerning God’s sovereignty over all events, you’re welcome to check out my book God’s Grand Game, which is currently available for free. For further information, visit the Books page.