Creed and Deed

[Read today’s Scripture in Matthew 7:24-29.]

knowing-doing-gapAre you familiar with the “knowing-doing gap”? It is a common phenomenon in which people talk about an issue, perhaps learn a lot about it, but don’t do anything about it. Many meetings close with participants somehow thinking that, by discussing an issue, they’ve actually done something to address it, even though their contemplations never even approached a resolution, let alone an action step!

Wisdom has no knowing-doing gap. Knowing what is best and not doing what is best is really pretty silly. “Foolish,” we might say. It’s the opposite of wisdom. Solomon knew this. When God told the king in a dream to ask for whatever he wanted, Solomon requested “a discerning heart,”[i] for he needed understanding and insight to distinguish between right and wrong as he governed Israel. Wisdom to Solomon was for a purpose beyond mere knowledge; he knew understanding as something to be applied.

Jesus knew it, too. His Sermon on the Mount was wisdom from God concerning forgiveness, enemies, fidelity, possessions, judgment, faith, and several other life challenges. Then concluding his instruction, He specifically cautioned against any knowing-doing gap: “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. . . . But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”[ii]

Wisdom is both creed and deed; it is acting on what we know to be true. In fact, the apostle James said that if we hear the word and don’t do the word, it eludes us. If, on the other hand, we apply what we come to know, we are blessed.[iii] His simple advice? “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.”[iv]

[i] 1 Kings 3:9
[ii] Matthew 7:24, 26
[iii] James 1:23–25
[iv] James 1:22

Today’s blog is an excerpt from: Christ in Me. Paul Nordman. Copyright 2016. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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