Knowing Facts Is Not What Counts

IMG_2487 grackle

A grackle on Kure Beach in North Carolina

Yet another post inspired by ‘coincidences’.  My daughter and I watched the movie Good Will Hunting, and it contains a scene in which Sean, the counselor, expresses a realization about Will, the troubled young genius he is counseling.  It parallels the quote by the late American physicist, Richard P. Feynman.  Sean said:

“So if I asked you about art, you’d probably give me the skinny on every art book ever written.  Michelangelo, you know a lot about him.  Life’s work, political aspirations, him and the pope, sexual orientations, the whole works, right?  But I’ll bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel.  You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that…. And I’d ask you about war, you’d probably throw Shakespeare at me, right, “once more unto the breach dear friends.”  But you’ve never been near one.  You’ve never held your best friend’s head in your lap, watch him gasp his last breath looking to you for help.”

The same could be said about God.  We can know all of His names and even memorize the Bible but not truly know Him.  We can study about Him, but unless we interact with Him on a more personal level and actually put some of the things He said into practice and experience Him, we can never truly know Him.  It reminds me of when Jesus said, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself,” as well as, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

Because the disciples had walked with and experienced Jesus, they knew Him.  They didn’t just know about Him.  And Jesus said if they knew Him, they knew the Father, too.  Knowing and accepting, though, are too different things.  Judas Iscariot experienced life with Jesus, but he betrayed Him and rejected Him as Messiah.

Knowing facts is not what counts.  Knowing what someone or something is doing, knowing by experience and genuine understanding is what really counts.


Disclaimer:  Although the movie has a good plot and was well done, because of the movie’s vulgarity, I would not recommend it.


If you liked this, you might also like:  Knowing Vs Knowing


About Rene Yoshi

Just a transplanted Okinawan-French Southern girl with a wee bit o' Irish, sharing photography and what I'm learning about spiritual things, including putting off legalism and religious traditions, and embracing God's matchless love, tender mercy, and amazing grace! View all posts by Rene Yoshi

14 responses to “Knowing Facts Is Not What Counts

  • Tienny The Storyteller

    Rene, how is your experience of God?


    • Rene Yoshi

      Tienny, I’m not sure I fully understand your question, but I will try to answer. The initial experience with God came through being taught about Him as a child and reading the Bible. As most children, I believed what I was taught and put some of those things into practice, including prayer. As I grew and studied the Bible, I continued to put things into practice, which helped to gain a better understanding of why God gave certain commandments. Because I came from a home that experienced divorce, I looked to God as my Father and talked to Him as such, because Psalm 68:5 says, ” A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation,” and Psalm 146:9 says, “The LORD preserveth the strangers; he relieveth the fatherless and widow: but the way of the wicked he turneth upside down.” Some people find it difficult to look to God as Father because of their experiences with abusive earthly fathers. As a child of divorce, although my dad did not fully abandon me, I do sometimes struggle with feeling like God has abandoned me at times. It has become easier, because in my relationship with Him and trusting Him, for example to meet my needs, He has always done so, even if it was at the last minute or in a way that was not expected.

      You can find posts on this blog, as well as on my old blog,, of some of those experiences with God. Here is the link to one of them: Love Sometimes Comes in Waves

      I have a friend who seem to always have a testimony or story to tell of her relationship with God and how He met her needs or those of others. She seemed to see things differently, and it was something I longed for. You see, I had grown up in churches that taught or implied certain things about God. For example, they believe God removed certain spiritual gifts like healing and seeing visions, while believing that since the canonization of the Bible, God communicates with us only through the written Word. And although they might admit to believing He speaks to us through His ‘still small voice’, which is an inaudible impression or the Holy Spirit’s ‘pricking of the conscience’, they don’t like to acknowledge anything that might seem in the least bit supernatural, like divine guidance. Anyway, my friend’s life, as well as the lives of others, contradicts those beliefs. As I studied the Bible more and began to believe what It said and not only what I was taught, and as I began to seek God more intimately, I began to experience a relationship with Him, and although I still have a lot of questions, I feel like I am beginning to understand and trust Him the more I seek Him and put the things He said into practice.

      The word science originated from a Latin root meaning “knowledge” and a Greek root meaning “to split, to cut, to separate”. My faith is not a blind faith. It has been tested, not only by me, but by others. I am reminded of a quote by Steve Cobb, an American pastor:

      “Our faith is not fideism, a faith in faith. It’s not a blind leap in the dark. Our faith is a reasonable faith… faith is trusting what we have reasons to believe is true.”

      I hope that answers your question.

  • Paige Hamilton

    In the end, it really is about a relationship with God … not religion (church attendance, memorizing scriptures, doing good deeds in the name of Christ). Great post!

  • Randell Bell

    Paul was one of the most religious and learned men of his time and had even studied under the master teacher Gamaliel. Paul had all the head knowledge of God without a shred of heart or true knowledge of God or a personal relationship with Him. Paul was a man who prided himself in knowing God’s Word without ever understanding God’s Word. Paul after his conversion stated, everything I knew before Jesus Christ counts for nothing. How true for those who substitute works and knowledge for a personal relationship with God. Acts22: 3 I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day. Phil.3: 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ.8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: Good one Rene.


    This is just a great post. I love the movie “Good Will Hunting”. Learnt a lot from it. Also your post makes so much sense about, we all talk about knowledge and things we know, but being there is what counts. i think that’s the real journey and thats the biggest asset one can hold on to. 🙂

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