Journal Prov 23 (all references are from the ESV unless noted otherwise; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “Apply your heart to instruction and your ear to words of knowledge.” Prov 23:12

Observation: What comes first? Learning or Doing?

Analysis: I scratch my head at that, learning or doing? Which one is the primary focus for the Disciple?

If I am “learning” or accumulating knowledge, then I run the risk of being all head and no hands.

If I am “doing” something, anything in the Name of Jesus, then I run the risk of being all flesh and not doing whatever is in front of me correctly in His Name.

What is more important, effective, and pertinent? Being a soldier for Christ or a TRAINED soldier for Christ? Is it the difference between being cannon fodder to the world or Seal Team 6?

What I just wrote above is a bit extreme, but the inference is there.

I used to coach baseball, from T-Ball through Senior League (15-16 year olds). I have come to think in terms of what natural models best represent Christianity and Discipleship in particular. Here goes…

Succinctly, every child can sign up for a Baseball team, especially the younger ages. But, signing up does not necessarily mean that they are a natural player. However, can the new sign-ups be trained? The Coaches and Parents do what they can to train the youngsters in what the parents remember as foundations or rudiments.

As these youngsters grow older and continue to play the game, these rudiments compound, built with other skills layered on that foundation. Sometimes the original skills are found faulty and are corrected, depending on the desire of the player to get better. And so on…

The point I am making is that T-Ball level skills are not compatible with Senior League skills—just saying that I signed up for a Baseball league when I was 6 years old does not make me a skilled Player when I am 15—I must decide to apply Learning throughout the years. Shucks, can I even say I am a baseball player after 1 year of T-Ball? No, I just learned few things…

This is ROUGHLY parallel to the journey of being a Disciple. The point is as the referenced Proverb says, “Apply your heart to learning” (make a point of diligence) and have an “ear to (for) words of knowledge.”

Like in baseball, effectively “DOING” means effectively “KNOWING.” I can DO without KNOWING but it is not as effective.

Prayer: Father, help me stay away from the trap that “Works” (or DOING) is a binary choice from “Knowing” (or learning). If I learn and do not put it into action, I fall short of being prudent with your commandments and gifts. If I do but fail to prepare from your Word, I fall short of depending upon you and I do things in my own strength and reasoning; being independent.

I must integrate Your Sovereignty and my Responsibility and do that in wisdom—only by learning from Your Precepts and Doctrines.


Ricky Two Shoes