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My people perish from a lack of knowledge. — Hosea 4:6 (KJV)
The principles I’m sharing have worked for me over the past 27 years. Sharing them with you feels as though it is my obligation. Someone reading this column will decide to take steps to reprogram your thinking.
This article is written to you. You who understand the necessity of pursuing knowledge, you who want to become more professionally competent, more confident, and you who want to be more likely to succeed at whatever it is you’ve set your hand to do now or after retirement, you want to become a specialist.
You can learn and specialize in your field of choice, or as you continue your professional education, training, or tutelage.
Some though, need to evaluate yourself by taking a close look at your exact stock of general knowledge before deciding to specialize in your field. How are you operating in your day-to-day activities, an element essential for the proper functions of life? We must pay attention, we’ve got to read directions, we must read instructions, and we must get complete details before purchasing tickets and other big-ticket items.
Let me give you an example; it may seem simple to you, but it is a true story. A man purchased a cruise ticket from England to America during the early 1900s. He paid for the cruise and boarded the ship, but would stay in his cabin at mealtime, thinking his ticket only entitled him to his travel on the ship. He thought the cost of all that exciting food was not included. So he brought his own food, enough to last the whole journey from England to America. On the last day before the ship reached America, the captain asked him why he had never seen him at mealtime. The man explained his reason to the captain. The captain replied, “Sir, the ticket included every meal as well.” The man was robbed because of a lack of general knowledge. This man would never have missed out on enjoying his meals, but he had a lack of knowledge.
Another story of someone unable to read and missed her blessing. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a preacher in the 1800s, once told a story of the time he visited the home of an old woman who was a servant for a very rich man before he passed away. Prior to the man’s death, he had gifted the woman a piece of paper. Though she couldn’t read, she thought the design was pretty, so she framed it. When Spurgeon visited the woman, he looked at the framed piece of paper and realized it was a check. She never knew she had become a millionaire, that her grandchildren would never go hungry again. She was nearly robbed because of a lack of knowledge!
These two stories may not sound like something you would do, but in changing the course of your life, your unpreparedness could be just as devastating. The word reminds us in the Scripture according to Hosea: “My people perish from the lack of knowledge.”
True knowledge means not only learning details of the path God has put in your life, it also means you must always show love, one for another. Never act as if you know so much that you feel you’re better than others. Continue to learn for the rest of your life, and remain humble!
Paul himself had profound knowledge of the Scriptures, but he understood that intellectual knowledge on its own is meaningless. Worse, it can be a dangerous source of pride that prevents discovery of a much deeper form of knowledge: Love. “Knowledge puffs up, love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). Puffed-up knowledge also shuts out vast realms of mystery.
As you continue to live your life, keep gaining knowledge, specialized knowledge, and stay humble — it’s biblical and it works.
Lyndia Grant is a speaker/writer living in the D.C. area. Her radio show, “Think on These Things,” airs Fridays at 6 p.m. on 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station. To reach Grant, visit her website, www.lyndiagrant.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 240-602-6295. Follow her on Twitter @LyndiaGrant and on Facebook.