Tag Archives: knowledge

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


Wisdom Wednesday: Wisdom Is As Wisdom Does

"Knowledge isn't power until it is applied."  —Dale Carnegie

“Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.” —Dale Carnegie

Have you ever known someone who was ‘book smart’ but lacked common sense or thought they were an expert simply because they had the knowledge, and maybe even the diploma, and yet lacked wisdom and experience? There is more to learning than getting a classic education. We can have knowledge without wisdom, but we cannot have wisdom without knowledge.

“Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass.” —Japanese proverb

“Knowledge is knowing the truth; wisdom is knowing what to do with it. Knowledge is theoretical; wisdom is practical. Knowledge fills your mind; wisdom guides your life.” —Mark Driscoll in Hard Life, Good God

The Hebrew word for wisdom is chokmah and is related to a root word meaning “skill”.  A person with wisdom has the ability to discern between good and bad, right and wrong, and can rightly apply knowledge that has been obtained.  In practical terms it means “skill at living life”.

Every prudent man worketh with knowledge: but a fool flaunteth his folly.”  —Proverbs 13:16 ASV

“The tongue of the wise useth knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools poureth out foolishness.” —Proverbs 15:2

If wisdom is the right application of knowledge, then knowledge without application must be foolishness. And even more foolish still is to have the knowledge available but to never take advantage of it.

“Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it.” —Ecclesiastes 7:12 NIV

“Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.” —Dale Carnegie

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” —James 4:17

“Wisdom is as wisdom does.” —Dave Bruskas in his sermon Jesus’ Wisdom, Your Wisdom

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” —Miles Kington


If you liked this, you might also like… Knowing vs. Knowing

Wisdom Wednesday: ‘Knowing’ vs. Knowing

"Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it."  —Arabian proverb

“Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.” —Arabian proverb

Have you ever gotten unsolicited advice from someone without experience? Have you ever had a boss try to tell you how to do your job, even though he has never actually done it himself? Have you ever thought you knew something and realized how little you actually understood until you had to put it into practice? Or have you ever thought you couldn’t do something until you tried?

“Thinking is not knowing.” —Portuguese proverb

One particular time in my life comes to mind when the subject of ‘knowing’ versus knowing comes up. Through some assumptions, gossip and hearsay, lies were being told about me. When someone did actually talk to me, they became aware of what was true, and they were embarrassed at having believed what was not true, which brings to mind the quote by Oscar Wilde, “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.” That is when I fully understood John 7:51, which says, “Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?” Nicodemus had asked it of the Pharisees who were judging Jesus without ever having spoken to Him. And although I fail at times, I try to talk to a person directly to get to the truth when I’ve heard something questionable, because I know what it’s like to wish people would talk to me instead of believing what someone else has told them. Until I experienced it, I only thought I understood.

“A book gives knowledge, but it is life that gives understanding.” —Yiddish proverb

“Experience is the best teacher.” —Belgian proverb

“What is a Greek’s way of saying they have knowledge? A Greek will tell you they have knowledge when they theoretically understand something. Hebrews says, “No, that’s not knowledge. Knowledge is when you know how to do something and you’re actually doing it.” And Jesus spoke to the Hebrew mind. See, learning about Jesus and going deeper with Him is not learning more facts about God. That’s why we got so many… that know so much Scripture but are mean as snakes. They know doctrine, they know theology, but it hadn’t moved from [the head] to [the heart].” —Steve Cobb, pastor in Can’t Get No Satisfaction

“To know and to act are one and the same.” —Samurai proverb

In John 7:17 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,” He was basically challenging the naysayers to put the teaching into practice, then they would know it was truly from God.

“Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.” —Arabian proverb

“You never know what you can do till you try.” —American proverb

Wisdom Wednesday: How to Have a Merry Christmas

IMG_1868 Bible.Phil.24

Have you ever felt truly loved and known after receiving a particular gift?  Have you ever felt unloved and unknown even though given a gift?  While it’s true that some of the best gifts are handmade, the truly best gifts are those that are timely and fit who we are, because they were given out of love and according to knowledge and not simply out of duty or expectation.  One of the keys to loving is knowing.

“To be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known…”  —Chris Kinsley and Drew Francis in “The Woman at the Well”

3Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  —Proverbs 24:3, 4

If wisdom is the right application of knowledge, then knowledge without application must be foolishness.  And even more foolish still is to have the knowledge available but never take advantage of it.

“Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass.”  —Japanese proverb

“[The] opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is apathy. Love and hate both engage the emotions. Apathy demonstrates a lack of concern.”  —BJ in The River Walk: Weeping and Laughing

When you fall in love, don’t you want to know everything about that person?  Don’t you want to spend as much time as possible with them?  Don’t you try to think of ways to make them smile?  In order to do that, you have to spend time with them and learn to know what would make them smile, right?

“Nothing is desired that is not known.”  —Latin proverb

“There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.”  —Russian proverb

“Lack of knowledge is darker than night.”  —Hausan proverb

With today being Christmas, Jesus’ birthday, people sometimes wonder what they can possibly give Him as a birthday present. The Westminster catechism based on several verses from the Bible says that the chief purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  Don’t you enjoy people who enjoy being with you?  Part of the reason Jesus became a man was so we could know and understand God better.  He came to demonstrate His love for us and invites us to live with Him.

“Come live with me and you’ll know me.”  —Spanish proverb

“Knowing about Him is a necessary precondition of trusting in Him, but the width of our knowledge about Him is no gauge of our knowledge of Him.”  —J.I. Packer

“Christianity is not an action; it is a reaction.  The Bible is not a list of requirements, but a list of results after experiencing God’s love.”  —Peter Haas, pastor in his sermon Pharisectomy Part 2 – Joy Driven Christianity

The apostle Paul, who had a list of religious credentials, wrote in his letter to the Philippians that he counted everything as loss and even as poop in comparison to really knowing Jesus.  Because Paul had had an encounter with Him and experienced His mercy, grace and love, Paul had a desire to know Him more.

Since Christmas is really about the birth of Christ, the best way to have a truly merry Christmas is to find peace with it. Usually the best way to find peace with something is to understand it, and to understand we first need to learn and gain knowledge. So the best gift we can give Jesus, as well as others and ourselves, is to seek to know Him.  And if we already know Him, seek to know Him more.

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

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