If you are a follower of Christ, I have a question for you. How much importance do you place on gaining knowledge? Do you read all the latest books by the most popular christian authors? How about sermons? Do you spend time listening to all the podcasts by your favorite pastors? Among American evangelicals, there seems to be a certain significance placed on gaining information. I mean, it seems like everyone likes to name drop their favorite big-time pastor, or discuss the latest books by guys like Piper, Driscoll, or Groeschel. We even try to learn theology, and use big “christian” sounding words like “existentialism” or “eschatology”.

Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of these things. I listen to several different pastors' sermons online each week. I have a list of books by some great authors that I want to read. I even like to use the word “eschatology” sometimes. But there may be an aspect of all this desire to learn more, this need for information, that fails us. I'll try to make my point here quick and concise.

The problem that I have seen in others, and in my own life, is that knowing all that stuff sometimes doesn’t make a difference in us. Seriously. We read the latest book on christian living, and tell others about how good it is, yet we really don’t apply it to our lives. The same thing applies to our study of the Bible. It's easy to just read, and not actually move to application.

Now don't hear me saying that gaining more biblical knowledge is bad. That is NOT what I mean. My point is that we should apply and live out what we know, rather than making the pursuit of knowledge our end goal. Take some of the Christians who have lived under persecution in places like communist China, or Romania. I have read stories about people who have been radically saved after reading only a few pages torn from a Bible.

One pastor I was listening to recently put it like this. “the problem with learning more information is that it just means there is more stuff you know, that you have no intention of actually doing.” Or, as a line from a great Rush songs says, “the more we think we know about, the greater the unknown”.

This is especially convicting to me. There is a lot of really simple stuff that I know from the Bible, that I still have a hard time following thru with. For many of us, I'm thinking it might be good if we focus on being transformed by what we already know, rather than trying to learn something new and doing nothing with it. Try this with the Bible as well. Instead of trying to understand some deep doctrinal theology, what if we just let the simplicity of the gospel change our lives. Let the deeper stuff come as your growth allows.

Knowledge is good. A transformed life is better.




Leave a Reply