18 Nov Please, No More Information!

Recently I read an article that started with the following statement,

Do you know what your problem is? Your problem is not that you are uninformed. That is what you might have thought your problem was. Your problem is also not that you lack information. This is a common misconception. In fact, people nowadays have lots of information… Ezra Klein’s philosophy in running Vox.com has been precisely this: people do not need facts, they need explanations.

I didn’t agree with the article, but the above statement reminded of a church meeting I’d attended a few days earlier.

The meeting was good. After a great time of worship, the pastor introduced the guest speaker who spent 30 minutes or so talking about how every believer was a light and the salt of this world. He talked about the properties of salt and light. He said what it meant for each believer to have those qualities. He gave examples using a flashlight while the lights in the sanctuary were dimmed. He had us tell the person next to us how precious they were for being the light and salt of this earth. By the time he was done, most of us knew more about salt and light than we needed.who-wants-change

While sitting there, I wondered how many believers in that room weren’t already familiar with Christ’s teaching in Matt 5:13-14? How many needed more information about those verses? How many had not, over and over again, heard what salt and light do? I am sure that for most of those present, the problem was not lack of information, but what to do with it. I’m confident that everyone left the meeting feeling great about who they were in Christ, but to what end?

I am a practical follower of Christ. I believe, at this age, after being a believer for over 40 years, I don’t need more information on what it means to be a disciple/servant of Jesus. What I need is how to implement all I’ve learned about what it means to be a Christian.

I wish, unlike most teachers I’ve heard all these years, our teacher that night had sent us home with some practical steps on how to make our lights shine, or how to attract people to our saltiness, so they become thirsty for the things of God. I wish he had said something like:

Now that you know you are the light and the salt of this world. Now that you’ve become aware of who you are in Christ, I want you to implement what you learned tonight. Go from here and be the light and salt to your own neighborhoods. Fulfill God’s greatest commandment—loving your neighbor through God’s love—by, at least, getting to know your next-door neighbor’s name, offer to mow his/her lawn (if they need it), make a casserole dish and take it to them, or something like that.

In order to be the light and salt of this world, the majority of us doesn’t need any more facts and information on the subject. We need to put to work all that we already know. And for that, we need teachers who can give us simple and yet practical ways to achieve that goal. And for the Church to stop being just a hearer/information gatherer and become a doer also.

 

 

 

Comments

comments

9 Comments
  • Joanie Cuff
    Posted at 05:05h, 20 November Reply

    Great blog, Shah! Biblically grounded, thought-provoking and motivating.

    James 1:22-25
    “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.
    But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. “

    • shah2011
      Posted at 12:04h, 21 November Reply

      I wonder if James was struggling with the same issues?

  • Jon Neff
    Posted at 04:10h, 19 November Reply

    I became a believer at 37. I am now 70.
    I do my own study, which often takes me deeper than anything I “learn” in church.
    So, what do I struggle with? What do I need to know?
    I need DEEP inner transformation, so that what I have known in my head for a LONG, LONG, TIME – becomes played out in my everyday life – both my PUBLIC life, and my PRIVATE INNER THOUGHTS.
    Paul was right when he spoke of what he would will to do, and what he ACTUALLY DOES. It is a war.
    We need not just teaching, but FRIENDS who will come alongside, REVEAL THEMSELVES WITH TRANSPARENCY and ACCEPTANCE of us NO MATTER WHAT WE DO, NOR HOW WE FAIL. AND WE need to do the same with them.
    Unless someone takes the initiative to be REAL, most of us hide behind our masks, whether we WANT TO or NOT.

    Why am I so certain in what I say??? Because the statistics barely show any difference between believers and non-believers in several crucial areas where there SHOULD BE enormous differences in outlook and behavior.

    We need to see CHRIST DEMONSTRATED in the lives of one another, more than we need to know more ABOUT what HE or the SPIRIT said at one time or another. If we are true seekers of GOD and TRUTH, the Spirit HIMSELF will be our most reliable guide. The Spirit will NOT contradict Jesus, nor the WORD. The question therefore is……… How bad do we rally want it.??????

    • shah2011
      Posted at 12:16h, 21 November Reply

      I believe you hit on a very crucial issue here, which is having trustworthy friends. To create that kind of atmosphere of trust, we should be willing to invest time in one another. Unfortunately, at least in our churches here, most relationships are way too superficial to yield that kind accountability. Going back to the subject of knowledge vs. doing, I honestly believe we’ll still be a much greater influence in our communities even if we, at least, do what we only hear from the pulpit every Sunday.

  • Peter Mojassamian
    Posted at 18:52h, 18 November Reply

    The cartoon says it all!!!

  • Lori Souza
    Posted at 11:10h, 18 November Reply

    Well said. I’ve always believed in the saying “It’s better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” I really think it applies to your entry today.

    • shah2011
      Posted at 12:18h, 21 November Reply

      Yes, to light a candle requires some DOING!

  • Terry Garber
    Posted at 10:53h, 18 November Reply

    If the only time we’re being “fed” is on Sunday mornings, then we will starve to death as believers. The Church is a place where we go for training and encouragement in our faith, but it is in our daily lives that we need to carve out time to spend with the Lord, seeking His face, asking for His help to live lives that are a reflection of His Son’s. We don’t need more information; we have an OVERLOAD of information! What we need is more understanding of what we have in Christ: the freedom, the power, the authority, the victory. Because of the teachings in my Sunday School class, I am understanding more who I am in Christ and what I have in Christ. This is changing me. Don’t give me more information. Help me put into practice what I already know. Good blog, Shah. Thanks for sharing.

    • shah2011
      Posted at 12:25h, 21 November Reply

      There are very a few Christians around me who don’t know who they are in Christ and what they have in him. What so many Christians lack is implementing those qualities in their everyday lives.

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