Saturday, June 25, 2011

Knowledge or Wisdom?

"If we were to put the entire world's knowledge from the beginning of time until 1845 on a graph it would measure only one inch tall. From 1845 to 1945--just 100 years--the graph would measure three inches tall. But from 1945 until today the graph would be as tall as [or much taller than] the Washington monument in Washington, DC." 

The great increase in knowledge seems to have created more pressure on our lives, not less.  The more we know the faster we go.  We've been invaded---or at least our privacy has.  First it was telephones that let people into our private sanctuary; call waiting interrupted one conversation with another; then it was pagers (remember those??); then cell phones that followed us into our cars and into restaurants; then email delivered a continuous stream of communication from those we know and those we don't; now its texting and Twitter and Facebook and Linkedin.  It all takes time---TAKES time.  Steals it away.  Do you ever miss simpler times?  Sometimes I do.  I think the key is balance.  Know when to shut it all off.  Make all of these things serve you, not master you.
Knowledge comes at us like a runaway train. But are we any wiser?  Someone once said "wisdom is knowledge applied".  Knowledge itself is useless if not applied. Knowledge that ice cream is full of calories and will cause me to gain weight won't keep me thin if I continue to eat ice cream.  I have to apply that knowledge---I must act on what I know to be true.  I can go to one Bible Study after another and gain all kinds of knowledge, but until I act on it, apply it, live it, that knowledge is worthless.  Pastor Greg Laurie once said being in church won't make you a Christian any more than being in a garage makes you a car or being in McDonald's makes you a hamburger!  With all of our knowledge, the world is not closer to God but drawing farther away---at least here in America.

Someone calculated that the human brain is 18 inches from the heart.  How much Biblical truth is stuck in my head as "knowledge" without traveling that 18 inches to my heart as godly "wisdom"? I know to "fear not", so why am I afraid? I know to "seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness" but still find myself consumed with concern about my earthly "stuff". I know I'm supposed to glorify Jesus with my words, thoughts, and actions; I know that in my head.  But that knowledge isn't always acted on in my heart.  Out of my mouth will come crabby or negative words.  My thoughts will sometimes be judgmental or unkind.  My actions will look no different than the world's actions.  My knowledge isn't helping me. I don't need more knowledge, I need to apply what I know.  This is my prayer:  Lord, instead of my knowledge increasing, please help my wisdom to increase.  Enable me to apply what I already know, in Jesus name.  Amen.

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