We sat down at the table, the steam rising from bowls of homemade soup. I looked across the table at my friend, a mom of four children with a world of experience. Pregnant with my first child, I was grateful for the time to learn about this mothering role. I had no clue how to be a parent.
I could barely take care of myself.
Lyn spent many lunches with me. Watching her care for children and manage a home was a living education I could have never learned from a book.
There is great power in example, being in the moment and watching firsthand.
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you…If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. John 13:14-15, 17
The big IF.
Knowing and doing are two completely separate states. You cannot DO without the KNOWING, but it is all too easy to KNOW and neglect the DOING.
Setting an example of humble service, Christ instructs his disciples on the importance of washing one another’s feet. If you know…this knowing is a seeing, experiential thing. Perceive, notice, discern, discover, pay attention are a few other traits of this word.
KNOW +DO= BLESSING
The problem of IF
Knowing and doing are not a given. The privilege of choice is a crucial part of obedience. Following Christ and obeying His word is always a choice.
If is a word of possibilities and choices. It is also the gap between the knowing and the blessing, isn’t it?
Knowing is not enough by itself. You can’t know yourself into heaven, and you can’t know yourself into caring for others.
It is the doing that changes everything.
A little later on this same evening of the Last Supper, Jesus explains more about this blessing that comes with obedience:
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” John 14:21
Knowing AND doing brings the blessing of deeper intimacy with Christ.
This may seem just a little too basic.
We know we are blessed when we obey Christ’s commandments, but knowing doesn’t have the power to move our stubborn hearts to action. Somewhere between knowing and doing, we can run into a world of problems.
This is a very real issue in today’s information-junkie culture. We skim and scan incredible amounts of information. We have more Bible study material and more Christian books, talks, videos…more information than any other generation in all of history.
Yet how many times have we walked out of church, already forgetting the meaning of the sermon? Have you looked at a Bible study you completed a year ago, straining to remember specific truths you learned? I have.
This is our need for discipleship, to learn by seeing and living life together.
Here are a few ideas that help me move from KNOWING to DOING:
Try these Action Starters
- Ask a question
- Call a friend
- Choose patience
- Confess a sin
- Create a list
- Do a good deed
- Keep Going
- Evaluate a problem
- Explore an idea
- Forgive someone
Which one of these could you try today? What would you add to this list? Leave a comment and join the conversation.