A Wise Teacher is Definitely Stupid

Does Proverbs 30:2 strike you as odd and unusual? Take a look…

Surely I am more brutish [stupid] than any man, and have not the understanding of a man.

In my recent Bible reading, this statement impressed me as an odd way to introduce a chapter of wisdom instruction. After all, if the writer, Agur – an otherwise unknown individual – wanted to boost the credibility of what he had to say, then you would expect something different. Perhaps he might say, “Surely I am more wise than any man, and have better understanding than other men.”

As human beings, we like to advertise our credentials. The Pharisees were like this, and we are too. We like to be called Reverend and Doctor. We like to show off our trophies, medals, plaques, degrees and certificates. But is that the way of humility?

Rather than offering some credentials, Agur announced his ignorance. The word brutish means “stupid and senseless, like and animal.” So Agur introduces his chapter of wisdom by claiming to be as ignorant as an animal, without the ability to think on a human level.


You know what that is?

Humility. Simple, straightforward humility.

Centuries following the writing of this book called Proverbs, James 4:6 encourages this same mentality. He says, “God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble.” And wise teachers know this.

Are you a teacher of any kind? As you labor to teach your students and disciples deep wisdom, life-changing lessons and accurate information, be sure to accompany this information with a heart that is fully persuaded that before God, you know nothing. Absolutely nothing.

God alone is wise. And compared to Him, you are nothing more than stupid, senseless as an animal. Only by the grace of God will anything you say have value. If you are persuaded that this is true about you, then you will be a wise teacher indeed.


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