More than likely you’ve had the experience where you’ve learned something from a book or in a classroom, only to find out the application of what you learned was much more difficult than the book or class made it seem. Applying knowledge in a situation is much more difficult than accumulating the information. Some individuals are excellent at storing knowledge. Not all of those individuals are great at applying it.
If I need something done, I’d almost always go with the person who’s been doing it for 10 years over the person who’s sat in a classroom learning about it for 10 years. When someone has to get a very risky or dangerous procedure, I’ve never heard of the would-be patient asking how many years the doctor spent in a classroom learning about it. The would-be patient wants to know how many times they’ve successfully performed the procedure. It’s about the experience, not the knowledge.
One of the dangers with the way churches function in our society today is they can be overwhelmingly knowledge focused. Many people gather on Sunday mornings to hear what a pastor has to say and take in information. Many of us will ask after a service, “what did you get from the sermon today.”
I wouldn’t say that is a bad question to ask. I think a better question to ask is, “what are you going to do about what the pastor said today.” If we go to church just to gain knowledge and never take the next step of putting it into practice, we’re wasting our time. There are no knowledge crowns when we get to Heaven. Jesus wants us to put our faith into action.
Think back to the last 3 sermons you heard. What changes were made after those sermons? What way did you decide to put what you learned into practice? Do you make a habit of applying what you learn or just stockpiling information? Some of us leave church Sundays feeling convicted about what was said but by the next Sunday we can’t even remember what last weeks sermon was about.
“22 But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves. ” – James 1:22 (NLT)