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Don't Be a Christian Soothsayer

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Do not forsake wisdom, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you. (Proverbs 4:6)

 

The difference between wisdom and knowledge has been debated even before the ancient Greek philosophers made it a national pastime. Rather than talk about wisdom, I would rather talk about the use of knowledge and the ability to take action. Knowledge for its own sake is a fine activity, but knowledge has little lasting merit without action.

 

I’ve known many people in my life who were brilliant theologians or Biblical memorizers, but who didn’t seem to do anything meaningful with their knowledge. In one of my churches, we had a Youth Director who formed a group of youth to attend Bible memory competitions. The youth from our church and other churches who competed, became very proficient at memorizing vast numbers of Scripture passages. What disappointed me was when I would attempt to discuss those passages with those same youth, they didn’t have a clear understanding of how those passages influenced their lives, and the lives of others.

 

Many years ago, I saw a wonderful cartoon that had a woman with her hands over a crystal ball, and the caption read, “Mentalist.” The adjoining caption had a woman with her hands over the Bible, and it read, “Funda-Mentalist.” In other words, a Bible reader is no better than a soothsayer if they cannot interpret what they are reading in a way that is in harmony with God’s intention.

 

Today, pray that the Holy Spirit will fill your heart and mind, so you will be able to understand the mind of God and God’s intention for your life. Memorization is hollow knowledge unless it is melded together with wisdom. Biblical knowledge can quickly become Bible trivia, and hence trivial, without the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to help you study, pray, and learn so your knowledge becomes wisdom, rather than trivia. For it is true, “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will keep you; love her, and she will guard you.” Trivia cannot do that, but through prayer and study, wisdom can provide care, love, and protection.