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