The only time my dad would come out with his REAL age or at least somewhat close to it, would be when he tries to get us to back off from arguing with him. “I have X number of years more experience than you” he would retort. And he ‘wins’ apparently.
The more I plod on in life and the more I interact with people, one thing that becomes clearer and clearer is that knowledge, age, maturity, experience are not proportional to one another. Experience is so diverse and versatile and it also can vary in depths – shallow or deep or superficial or intense. We can be doing something because we have to – so we go with the flow. Yet if we are passionate about this, we delve right in and broaden our horizons on that particular subject material.
We can read so much and have read so much over the years of our lives, but if it’s just head knowledge it’s all pointless. As a Tamil (my mother tongue) proverbs goes, “The lime on a paper (imprinted) isn’t of any use for a curry”.
All the knowledge that isn’t probed, reflected and applied is actually no knowledge at all as it may not even be in essence true or practical! It reminds me of the following Scripture:
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do – James 1:22-25
Just imagine for example I look at the mirror and study myself and then go and get clothes that are broader or much larger in size forgetting that I’m actually slim or even thin! What is the point of spending all that money? Just because I go shopping doesn’t make me ‘experienced’ in that shopping obviously! In fact one who is aware of their shape will shop for clothes that would flatter their shapes and not drown them or over power them just because it’s ‘fashion’.
How much do we do this with God’s Word? How often do we read His Word and then not apply it because it will ‘cost’ us much, it would contradict the ways of the world and perhaps lose friends and family members, it will mean us giving up a lot of stuff that we would otherwise enjoy doing… the list goes on. Jesus tells us to PUT IT INTO PRACTICE.
But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete – Luke 6:49
When His Words are heard and not put into practise, we can expect destruction.. complete destruction!
Despite that, we often continue conforming to the ways of the world and call us or at least convince ourselves that we are Christians. Yet Jesus defines who is FAMILY (mother, sisters, brothers) to Him, the family of believers:
“My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.” – Luke 8:21
On the other hand, we have an assurance if we do indeed put it into practise:
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you – Philippians 4:9
So you may have years of being a ‘Christian’, you may be ‘older’ in age, you may have had many years on your ‘ministry’ resume, you may have read the Bible countless number of times, but none of this is a reflection of your maturity! What truly counts is the one who reads His Word and puts it into practise. MEDITATION, REFLECTION and APPLICATION.
(I searched for an image to feature after completing this post and I was delighted to find an apt quote by Beth Moore, one of my favourite speakers who is rooted in God’s Word and whose materials spurred me to thirst for God’s Word).
Applying His Word is not easy at all, it challenges our worldviews, our comforts and our fitting in… Often the application of His Word seems ‘foolish’ to others around us…
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit – 1 Corinthians 2:14
If God’s Word sounds’ foolish’ to anyone including yourself, then the question would be does the person have God’s Spirit?
You could have grown up in the church.. gone through the rigmaroles of being a Christian, but does that make you a ‘mature’ believer”
It’s not about age, experience, knowledge but about reflection and application!