called “eggheads.” This term has often been applied in a disparaging manner to those who really use their thinking faculties properly and productively. They are frowned upon because they exercise their minds. Some persons are too lazy to think, for thinking is hard work. Hence they look unfavorably upon those who utilize mental abilities, who show industry in employing the mind. It often occurs, therefore, that thinking persons are hated.
Reflecting a rather general view is the following quotation from the book The Age of Conformity, by Alan Valentine, pages 105 and 106: “Einstein was another kind of national hero in a more remote way; almost no one understood him but nearly everyone accepted the experts’ verdict that he was a tremendous adventurer on the exalted heights of mathematics. But when he began to express opinions on public issues his admirers diminished. To think independently is to challenge the democratic norm, and ‘highbrow’ and ‘theorist’ are not complimentary terms. ‘I’d rather be a bonehead than an egghead,’ is simply the latest slogan to defend the commonplace.”
There are, of course, those who only pretend to think. Proverbs 14:17 is not referring to these pseudo-intellectuals. They have not really attained the position of true intellectuals, thinking persons who show they have real intelligence. The pseudo-intellectual who acts and talks in a manner intended to impress may actually exhaust others instead and may repulse them. But he is not the type of person that is “the man of thinking abilities” who is hated. In the case of the sham intellectual the truthfulness of 1 Corinthians 8:1 is demonstrated: “knowledge puffs up.”
That a man of real thinking abilities is hated, however, is evident as far as Jehovah’s witnesses are concerned. They exercise their minds regarding God’s purposes and they walk with God. (Mic. 6:8) They take in and act upon knowledge of God’s Word and do not conform to this system of things. (Rom. 12:1, 2) As thinking persons who follow Christ as their exemplar and who do the divine will they are hated. In this they are unlike worldlings. And no wonder, for they are no part of this world! They show this by thinking, by exercising their mental faculties, and then by acting in harmony with the righteous principles of God’s Word.—John 15:19.
The expression “thinking abilities” at Proverbs 14:17 could, of course, cover malicious thinking. A man who devises evil or who is malicious is hated. So either application given to “thinking abilities” is possible. Yet there is really no escaping the fact that Christians who use their minds, who exercise their thinking abilities regarding God, his Word and his purposes, and who walk with Jehovah are hated by this world, which “is lying in the power of the wicked one.”—1 John 5:19; Isa. 30:20, 21.
What must one do to put up a fine fight for the faith? He must publish that faith before “many witnesses.” (1 Tim. 6:12) Jehovah’s witnesses will be doing that during January by preaching and teaching from the Bible, and by offering to all persons a year’s subscription for The Watchtower, together with three booklets on the Bible, for a contribution of $1.
Never has a year produced such widespread activity in the preaching work of Jehovah’s witnesses as the year just past. You will enjoy the 1964 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses as you consider the heartwarming experiences it contains. Each day of the new year you will find inspiring and instructive reading, not only in this fascinating report, but in the daily consideration of the scriptures and comments taken from issues of The Watchtower of the past year. Send for your copy; it is only 50c. Send also for the 1964 calendar, which displays the year’s Bible text, beautifully illustrated. It is 25c.
“WATCHTOWER” STUDIES FOR THE WEEKS
February 2: They Listened to an Angel, ¶1-25. Page 7.
February 9: They Listened to an Angel, ¶26-44, and Love and Boldness Lead to Life, ¶1-6. Page 14.
February 16: Love and Boldness Lead to Life, ¶7-27. Page 21.