Are Believers Over Educated?

man_with_booksMark Batterson had a post on his blog recently about the R(e)formation conference he attended.  In sharing the main points of the speakers, he wrote:

George Barna said, “Christianity has become a way of thought instead of a way of life.”  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  I think we’ve created a culture where we know more and do less all the while thinking we’re growing spiritually.

Pastor Mark is frequently saying something to the effect that we are educated beyond our level of obedience.  It’s true.  We are constantly trying to learn more, know more, study more.  Why don’t we APPLY what we know to our lives and to serving others?

Think about it:  you can read diet tips all day, but until you DO some of them, you’ll never lose weight.  So why do we read and study the scriptures so much without adopting some of the most basic tenants of what we’re reading?  Don’t gossip.  Forgive.  Love. 

To go from the ridiculous to the sublime:  How many books have you read on prayer?  Now how much time do you spend in prayer?

Religious leaders (pastors, rabbis, teachers) are great at this.  They’re so busy finding out what God wants to say to others, they don’t take time to hear what He wants to say to them.  And they’re so busy helping everyone else that their kids are going to hell and their spouses are ready to file for divorce.  None of us is immune.

But, we have to remember that putting what we know into action doesn’t always mean checking items off our “I’m a Good Person” checklist:

  1. Volunteer at the soup kitchen.
  2. Organize the youth raffle.
  3. Attend Tuesday’s bible study.

Sometimes translating what we know into action happens on a heart level.  In fact, that’s where it’s most important.  Last week I was talking to a friend of mine who is one of the most amazing women I know.  Aside from the fact that she volunteers a lot of her time (which she doesn’t have) to a number of good causes, she has one of the purest hearts and strongest desires to serve God of anyone I know.  For example, when someone makes her angry (and her anger is always justified), she prays for them.  As well she should.  Do I?  Hmmm, not so much!

Last week, this friend commented on some of the things I’m spending my time “doing” and started berating herself for not doing as much.  I told her that she and I are clearly Mary and Martha.  I’m Martha (as if you didn’t know this about me by now).  I’m the one crossing things off my “Do Gooder” list.  She’s Mary, concerned with the “weightier matters” like forgiveness, long suffering and love.  And we all know who was favored by the Master as a result.

So although we DO need to transform our knowledge into action, we have to be careful not to get caught up in a “To Do” list for God.  If God had to choose between our service and our relationship with Him, relationship would win out every time. 

How do I know?  Well, aside from the fact that the scriptures tell us so many, many times, it’s logical.  We’re made in God’s image, right?  Okay, now think about someone you loved who has passed away.  Would you prefer it if they would have done more for you, or spent more time with you?  If you could bring them back for a day, would you give them a list of chores or would you talk with them? 

So, we need to scale back on educating our spiritual minds and start putting that knowledge into action to our hearts and lives and the lives of others.

__________

BOOK GIVEAWAY:

Don’t forget to send your name and mailing address to seewhykinsman@yahoo.com to register for Me, Myself and I AM. TWO winners will be drawn at random this Friday, November 7th. I’ll DOUBLE your changes of winning by entering your name TWICE in the drawing if you provide the answer to this question (which appears on p. 22) in your e-mail: If my life BEFORE I became a believer were a movie, the best title(s) to describe it would be ______________. Some proposed answers the books gives are: Animal House, Some Like It Hot, Heaven Can Wait, Rocky, It’s a Wonderful Life, Do the Right Thing. I’ll post the answers I get WITHOUT revealing your names on this blog.

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