There’s been so much resonating in my heart and soul the past few days. I feel as though everywhere I turn, another mouth is singing the familiar tune that I can’t quite identify… but I can still hum along to myself as I go about my day.
I sat down yesterday before church, in the glorious stillness that’s found only in the stolen moments between activities on busy days, and I wrote. I write a considerable amount (though not as much as I want), but this was different because it was a sort of poignant, direct, spoken word sort of poem thing, which I haven’t written since high school because someone told me “it didn’t rhyme”. I regret giving anyone permission to silence my self-expression in my private life, and so, I am taking back some of the gumption I had before I had my first run in with disillusionment.
I will not be posting it here, however, for a few reasons. First of all, it tastes political–which is distasteful (in my opinion)–and second of all, for now, I think it’s just for me. In a world where I feel more and more pressure to document and categorize my accomplishments, abilities and creativity on social media, I refrain as an exercise in self control… or because I’m just a rebellious little punk.
(side tangent over)
I think I began to realize my priorities were off a few weeks ago when I’d gotten up late for work and didn’t have time to sit down and read my devotions–a few days in a row. A typical situation, and a typical feeling of guilt. My feelings stemmed from the feeling of hypocrisy… how could I call myself a Christian when I hadn’t even read my bible? My faith was examined and found to be fraudulent, by my own judgement. I knew that my job as a believer was to “renew my mind” and get my thinking straight by “seeking God early” in order to “find him” (all true and valid scriptures). I’ve been reading my bible and journaling and studying for years now, and having attended a Christian University and taken an apologetics class or two in high school, I’m certainly no dunce. I know the scripture, and I know the truth.
This consciousness of my esteem for knowledge continued throughout the following weeks, displaying itself in new ways each time.
I’ve taken to reading the newspaper at work during lulls and coffee runs around our small, cow-decorated diner, and I’ve gathered an elementary-level knowledge on pretty much anything I’ve seen now: Drone strikes, civilian casualties, Putin, Ukraine, Venezuela, ObamaCare, Uganda and their Anti-Gay Laws. I’ve even gone beyond reading the local newspaper to reading outside sources online like Huffington Post, CNN, BBC. For the first time in my life, I’m being truly pro-active in gaining knowledge about the world outside America and I’d say I’m more informed and aware than I’ve ever been in my life (as much as I can be with governmental/media biases, but that’s a whole other story). I know a bit of what’s happening in the world.
Among my newsfeed, I’m noticing a new hashtag that’s gaining in popularity (at least with me). In order to summarize a humorous tweet or instagram, I’ll go ahead a tack on a #themoreyouknow. It’s brief, but full of possibilities. I have no idea how I’d even finish the phrase, but I suppose it’s like a modern retelling of Ye Olde “Knowledge is Power”.
I’ve been privileged in my short life to have a lot of incredible experiences (and I look forward to more!). I have worked, traveled, studied, read, written, felt, conversed, created, explored, and connected with others. I have been dragged (usually by myself) through the sludge and been pulled out by a loving God who cherishes my puny self more than I deserve or even know. Each season and each moment has made me richer, and I have gained insight and knowledge that I’m grateful to have. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
And yet, if all I have to say for myself at the end of the day is “Knowledge is Power”, I’m selling myself unforgivably short of my potential, my responsibility, my relationships and my intimacy with God. Ignorance is a hideous and crippling thing, but I think it’s safe to say that with the bombardment of news and information on every app on every piece of we own that the days of blissful or involuntary ignorance are over. We are aware. We know things. We’ve seen things.
At what point did I start measuring the authenticity of my faith by how much I know? If a day passes by without a devotion and I mourn it, not as a time I forfeited to spend intimately with Jesus, but as a chance to stuff my head full of some more scripture, what am I mourning? Why am I pleased to be familiar with 75% of biblical text while being obedient to perhaps 15% of what I do know? Where is the satisfaction in knowing “how much better I have it” than a majority of the world’s population? Why is it impressive to me (or anyone) to be well-read and well-spoken and well-traveled and well-informed, when it doesn’t motivate me to action–to love?
Let me be clear: there is nothing I could do to earn God’s love or to earn more value in His kingdom that he hasn’t already given me (Eph 2:8 – 9) and I don’t need to impress other people (1 Thess 4)… but I’m just tired. I’m tired of knowledge not affecting my life. I’m tired of patting myself on the back because of “what I’ve seen”, and acting like I’m not accountable for what I know. At the best my knowledge makes me appear spiritually and socially conscious; at my worst, it reveals me as arrogant and haughty.
Am I the only one who’s just tired of it all?
But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.
Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
– James 4:16 – 17
Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols.
Yes, we know that “we all have knowledge” about this issue.
But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.
Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.
But the person who loves God is the one whom God recognizes.
– 1 Corinthians 8:1 – 3
What we believe, we do.
Knowledge is nothing but a loaded gun sitting on the table, collecting dust.
It saves no lives.
It prevents no evil.
It looks impressive,
and is utterly
Knowledge is a responsibility to both change and allow Jesus to change who we are and the world around us.
So now that I know this, I guess it’s time for me to act on it.