Friday, February 18, 2011

Axioms, Adages, and Proverbs (7):

"Wisdom is the right use of knowledge. To know is not to be wise. Many men know a great deal and are all the greater fools for it. There is no fool so great a fool as a knowing fool. But to know how to use knowledge is to have wisdom." (Spurgeon)

We're back today in the series of blogs I have called "Axioms, Adages, and Proverbs." And today we look at a tough one. Wisdom, and Knowledge. According to Wikipedia, "wisdom consists of making the best use of knowledge."

If we can agree that this is true, that wisdom is the proper use of knowledge, than a question begs to be asked; "What do you have? Knowledge, wisdom, or both, (or, gulp, neither)?"

To help make this point, let me draw in a couple of other things. First, from Scripture;

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (James 1:5)

This is GREAT news. It means that if we ask God, He will give us wisdom - the ability to properly apply knowledge. And since all truth is God's truth, ultimately, He gives us the ability to apply His truth in our lives and deeds, in order to bring glory to Him.

Second, let's throw in a couple more words...

Orthodoxy: right belief
Orthopraxy: right action

These two must work hand in glove, together. And this leads us to the main point of this post;

"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?" (James 2:4)

In googling the web in writing this post, I came across a blog written by a mormon, who said the following;

"in Christianity, the focus is much more on what one believes than what one does."

And therein lies the rub. Is that statement true? Is it true of us? More importantly, is it true of what Jesus modelled for us and taught us? I wonder...

3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 John 2:3-6)

15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:15-17)

"If you love me, keep my commands." (John 14:15)


I've heard it said that Christians are most known for "being against things." I wonder if that's what Christ would want His Church to be known for? Make no mistake...we cannot save ourselves. Our deeds will do absolutely NOTHING to remove God's wrath from us...only the blood of Christ can cover our sin, and that is a free gift from God...grace. However, Jesus is quite clear that His true followers will not just be known for their orthodoxy, their beliefs, but will also be known for their orthopraxy, their deeds.

Bringing it home, Jesus says that the world will know we are true disciples by how we love...how we love Him, and how we love each other. And love is a verb...action. To help make his point, Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan. This was a man who showed his love through his deeds. And let it not be lost on us that the man he helped was his enemy!

Now we have the knowledge...we know God's heart, we know His will, and we have His instructions. But do we have wisdom?

God - today, help to live out my faith in a way that brings glory to you.

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