Knowledge isn’t everything. The Internet is full of knowledge. Libraries are too. I hold a few degrees in various disciplines, and have spent years accumulating bits of information that help me do the jobs I’ve set out to do. But what good is this knowledge if I don’t actually do anything with it?
Action is also required if we want to put that knowledge to good use. I need to call a repairman or fix it myself. I need to physically change the direction of the sprinklers or simply shut them off. I know if I don’t do anything the door is going to remain open and the only thing that will happen is the problem will get worse.
Knowing God is kind of the same, don’t you think? We can look around the world and see “God” throughout creation. While knowing and recognizing God in your midst is a good thing, knowledge alone isn’t going to mean much if you ignore what God is calling you to do. I like to remind people that faith is a verb, and thus it requires us “to do.”
Lent is a time to take some kind of action that will better your life, or bring you closer to God or to discover what God is calling your to do. What might that be? If you want to get the knowledge then you have to do the work of finding, praying, contemplating, fasting, and asking. It’s in the doing that we move from belief (knowing) to faith (doing).
When asked what the most important commandment was, Jesus boils all 611 down to “Love God and love your neighbor: there is no commandment greater than these.” These echo the words (knowledge) of a famous rabbi from Jesus’ days, Rabbi Hillel, who said to an overzealous young rabbinical student in Judea, “What you find hateful do not do to another. This is the whole of the law. Everything else is commentary.”
Both men taught, knowing the law was good, but living the law in the way you live your life is what God is calling you to do. Saying you love someone is not nearly as effective as showing someone how you love them; be it God or a neighbor.
In Revelations, John reports Jesus as saying, “ Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.” His words make me think of my garage door a little differently (knowledge). Perhaps God wants it, like my hearts and mind, to remain open (action). This way it can always be open and ready to do what it was designed to do best, be an open invitation “to be” in the presence of the Lord where we gain more wisdom.
Prayer: God, your Spirit has awoken something in me. I pray that today it will move me to act upon it in a way that will bring glory to your name. Amen.
An ex-copywriter turned punk rock pastor and peacemaker who dedicates his life to making the world a better place for all humanity.
"that they all might be one" ~John 17:21
“Prius vita quam doctrina.”
~ St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
* “Life is more important than doctrine.”