Baptism at Singles Retreat - 147 Baptized!!!

*******************Baptism at Singles Retreat 147 Baptized!!! ***********************

* Sharing times in the Word and looking for growth. Let's Commune Together!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

“Knowing” is not the main thing!

Probing Proverbs 12:23  
The wise don’t make a show of their knowledge, but fools broadcast their foolishness.

I remember an incident that reaffirmed that we all need a balance in our view of “knowledge.” I was in the USA for a few months after years of living in the Philippines. We were at a dinner where there were many people I did not know. After dinner we had a discussion on reaching to other cultures and what possible difficulties there may be. Then a person spoke up that had been on a two-week short-term mission trip to the Philippines. As this individual began to describe the culture and especially the people, I was in dismay. Nothing…and I do mean nothing, was the reality my family and I had experienced in all the years we had lived with these dear folks. When this person finished, the host asked for feed back. Several offered reasons or rationalizations for the difficulties this person experienced. No one there except the host and the friend that brought me knew who I was. The host, with no introduction, asked me for feedback. I began to share my perspective, but in the middle of it the individual that had spoken at the beginning interrupted, clearly annoyed, and said, 
“What do you know, I have been to the Philippines!” I said, “I am sorry for your experience, but I worked with Filipinos in the painting industry in Hawaii for many years, and I have been living in the Philippines for the last 15 years teaching the Bible.” The room went silent, after an uncomfortable pause I asked the host, “Is there desert and coffee?”

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing! I have met my share of “wanna be” missionaries that think because they spent a week or two in a place, they now have full knowledge of what it is about. Even in my first ministry, at Oahu Prison, there were individuals that would share at churches that they know what it is like to be in prison. How disingenuous! Yes, you know what a prison looks like, smells like. You know what its like to visit a prison, teach in a prison. But to say you know what it is like to BE IN prison? Just the fact that you get to come and go as you please is the evidence that you have no idea what it is like to be a prisoner!

This Proverb is a clear warning that when we have “real” knowledge…data that is balanced by wisdom, we know how to handle it. When we don’t handle data with wisdom, we become foolish and even broadcast it! I have watched how even “formal” training can be used by the enemy to take someone into a state of unbalance. Paul warns of this:  

1 Corinthians 8:1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.

Knowledge is wonderful and should be pursued. The day we stop learning is the day we stop growing! However, there should always be a very healthy respect from us on what we know we don’t know! Knowing just to know is useless. When we take in data and fail to apply it, we may become a great success in “Trivial Pursuit,” yet remain in failure and defeat in real life!

When we add wisdom to data, which is when we take what we know and figure out how we should react to it, how that data affects our life, what actions this data leads to…this is called “application”…we will use what we know to glorify God, benefit others and keep ourselves close to God. We will never use what we know to boost our ego, make ourselves look better, while demeaning or belittling others. That’s what the Pharisees did and Jesus denounced it harsher than any other sins He addressed.

We should learn as much as we can, but as we do, we need to seek God’s help to wisely apply all we are learning. When we do that, we unleash the real power of knowledge!  

The so what? Are you stretching yourself to learn new things on a consistent basis? Whenever you learn something new, what do you do with that data? When was the last time you saw a change in yourself based on taking something you learned and applying it to your life? When you read the Scriptures, do you always seek an application? Do you ask the Lord for wisdom often?