When I was very much younger, I attended a school that has its motto as “knowledge is power”, we sang it every morning at the school assembly and we grew up with it. One thing we couldn’t clearly define at that moment was “knowledge”.
We were made to understand that for us to pass our exams, we have to read and memorize the words on the pages of our books so that we can easily answer questions. We were never encouraged to study to learn, we were simply made to believe that the most brilliant pupil is the one who can memorize the words!
During end of school ceremonies or other ceremonies where parents will be invited to watch their children’s performances, we will be asked to do debates or was that debate? What kind of debate is it? The one that teachers will write down their arguments and ask you to memorise it and then recite it?
That is why till date, we rarely see children who debate out of what they’ve got inside of them and their convictions, they just come out to recite teachers points with fake charisma that is very vivid. There is no life to the debates, dramas, or other performances because the pupils are forced to act and talk in a certain way.
They are controlled and cartoons are much more lively and better than them. We only get to see children who are allowed to do things their way on the TV. They are usually Americans or British pupils.
This is the orientation with which many of us grew up. We have memorised lots of things, we have read lots of books and we have attended lots of seminars but yet, we are still very powerless.
That is why someone feeding from hand to mouth will stand to render seminars of how to become millionaires in one week, of course, he conveys the information, people receive it, shout in excitement and confirm the resource as authentic but they remain poor! Why? Isn’t knowledge supposed to be power then?
Here is the problem…
We read to pass exams, we pass exams, come out of school with first-grade results but we still fail to practically work out our knowledge.
Knowledge is power, I agree. What happens to a man who has arsenals, got surrounded by assassins but he didn’t make use of his weapons? Of course, he will die because he will be killed!
Owing weapons of warfare don’t stop you from being a war victim when you refuse to use your weapons. Okay, let’s say someone graduated from medical school with first class result and had patients around him, if he refuses to act on what he has learnt throughout the years he spent in school, those patients will die.
They can’t get well because they met someone who has mastered the art of medicine, they will get well because someone who has mastered the art of medicine acted it out on them.
That is why we have lots of public speakers who will tell you lots of things they don’t do, they know it but they don’t do it. The simple truth is that it is easier to know than to do, it is easier said than done! Talking is easy, talking is cheap but it takes great discipline to act on knowledge.
Many of us can quote the Bible page by page but our lives aren’t showing that we know the word of God. That is because we have refused to practice the word. Things you know cannot possess you, it cannot work out from you on it own, you must deliberately decide to act before you act.
Knowing without applying it means having power without using it! When the Bible say study to show yourself approved in 1 Timothy 2:15, it did not end there. We don’t just study, we work it out! Read the sentence that followed
“… a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.”
In the field of the knowledge you have acquired, you ought to be a workman who is skilfully handling whatever knowledge you have.
Of course, that portion of the Bible is talking about ministers but we can use the principle in every other profession. We have lots of moralist Pastors teaching what they don’t do! They teach you how to always stay truthful but they are full of lies, they tell you how can stay away from sexual immorality but they entangled in it… They are in lots of mess because they are not ready to discipline themselves and apply that knowledge they have.
People are not known by their knowledge but by their fruits. When your fruit is different from your knowledge it makes people put your knowledge in the waste bin!
Raising children with the mentality of gathering knowledge without practice makes the world a place full of mess. There are lots of young people reading for several hours every day and the reason why they do that is that they want to pass an exam, they are seeking for knowledge not really because they want to make a big deal out of it…
They just want to be the best in class, get good grades and move on. How can a first-class student in medicine not perform well at the hospital? How can a Pastor who is well versed in the scripture lack necessary characters required of a Pastor? How can a first-class mechanical engineer not repair or even manufacture vehicles? How can people know the secrets of success but never be successful?
The answer is simple…
Learning is easier than working it out. The Bible asked us in Philippians 2:12 to work out our salvation. Lots of people feel the Bible is suggesting that we need to do certain things to procure complete salvation. No! Our salvation is complete in Jesus but when we got saved we received a new life and we agreed to live our new life!
That new life is a result of salvation when the Bible says we should work our salvation out, it means that we need to act out our salvation, we need to bring it out in a practical way so that people can see what salvation looks like. In better words, we need to practice our salvation. To work out your salvation, you must not only be hearer, you ought to be doers of the word of God.
In that same manner, whatever you have studied, whatever knowledge you possess, you need to break out and bring it alive. The world needs to see what you’ve got because they have heard enough of it. We don’t want to hear any more, we want to see it with our eyes.
Originally published on Dec 5, 2016 as Educated illiterates