I'm going to say something that is likely to step on a lot of people's toes, but it's for the best.
When I first started interacting with people on social media, I quickly grew impatient with people who didn't know what I knew or didn't understand what I understood, and I began to repeat the popular mantra, "I can't stand stupid people." It was actually a problem I'd suffered with for many years, but being on social media magnified it. Stupid people really got on my nerves.
Over time, the Lord began convicting me. One particular event played into this, and that was the tragedy at guru James Arthur Ray's Sedona retreat. In this tragedy, a number of people had paid up to $10,000 each for a retreat with the guru, and this retreat ended when three people were literally cooked to death in his sweat lodge, and several others were injured.
Having been an affiliate promoter in the past for the book and movie, "The Secret," which featured Ray, I had a personal interest in the case and followed it closely. And as I read the articles and watched the videos, I began to notice a pattern. People in the comments sections loved to decry the stupidity of the people who had attended this sweat lodge, as well as all those who followed new age teachings. Sadly, many of the people saying these things were professing Christians.
Having been in the occult for twenty-six years and having known a lot about the people who attended this retreat, I knew that simply was not true. Not only were the attendees of this retreat highly intelligent, educated professionals, but so were the vast majority of my clients when I practiced as a professional psychic, healer, spiritual counselor, and life coach. And so were the vast majority of the people I knew in the occult, in general. Most of them could "out-intellect" any Christian, any day of the week. I knew this for a fact, and it was one of the things that kept me from Christianity for so many years.
The Lord showed me that not only was it erroneous to presume a person stupid for such things, salvation had absolutely nothing to do with intellect. Salvation was a gift from God and had nothing to do with me. Furthermore, I was not stupid when I was in the occult. I was deceived, and that can happen to anyone. Anyone. No one is too smart to be deceived.
And then God showed me something that hurt even more. Many times in my life, I had either been called stupid directly or had it implied by people who were looking down on me for not knowing what they knew. It's probably happened to most of us. But what God showed me was that every time I looked down at my nose at someone for being stupid, I was really just trying to redeem myself and make myself feel smarter.
I began to also see that, in this age of information, people everywhere are trying to prove that they have read more and know more than anyone else. The Internet seems to be everyone's opportunity to "out-intellect" everyone else. And as I observed, surprisingly, the people who cried "stupid" the loudest were actually the most ignorant ones of all.
Slowly, I began to curb my use of the word stupid. I still use it from time to time. I'm not perfect. But I have learned that most of the time when people are looking down their noses at me or anyone else for being "stupid," it's really about them, not the people they're looking down on. And the same goes for me, when I do it.
Yes, sometimes it is frustrating and annoying when someone can't understand what I'm saying, or worse, refuses to accept it. But I'm not here to be intellectually superior to them. I'm here to share what I do know - my experiences, my testimony, and the gospel, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
So now, I really try not to use the word stupid or even think that way about people, especially when it comes to spiritual beliefs. My intellect did not get me my salvation and it didn't rescue me from deception. Jesus did. And that wasn't because I just all of a sudden "smartened up." It was because of His grace, which none of us deserve.