In the world but not of it

October 12, 2010

You need to own it…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

The words of the wise are persuasive. Proverbs 16:23

You’ve more than likely heard at one time in your life that wisdom is applied knowledge. Most of us have knowledge about certain topics but until that knowledge really gets used practically we won’t learn all the nuances or the realities of what it really means. That is how wisdom is gained, it is the use and re-use of knowledge; it is the practical application of what we know.

People know when you are speaking from experience or from theory. People who you know that truly love the Lord and have gone through many seasons of life and are well-weathered, those are the ones we typically get lots of wisdom from.

Years ago I was given an opportunity to present on a topic for my work related activities. The conference was held in a prestigious hotel and we had hundreds of attendees, all executive level professionals. It was early in my career and I was learning the ropes on many levels yet I was confident, actually over-confident, that I would deliver this speech well and with no difficulty.

As was the practice at these conferences, after each speaker the audience was asked to complete a simple feedback form on the speaker and their content. Later that afternoon I was given the forms for review and was painfully surprised to see that most of the forms had a similar comment…”the content of the presentation was good but the speaker didn’t own it”…

In other words, even though the content was credible, I wasn’t. Because I really had not applied the knowledge of the topic in my professional life the things I shared were only skin deep and had no real depth or impact on the audience and their respective interests and needs. I had taken an important topic that they had paid money to come hear about and had watered it down because I had not taken the time or made the investment to really know it, live it and understand it.

Oh, what a life lesson this was, in fact it was two important lessons that day.

First, I don’t need to be a scholar on the subject but I need to know it. There is a difference and it comes from investing time and being committed.

Second, my ignorance or my deliberate neglect to own the topic not only hurts me but it can hurt others and it can significantly dilute the importance of the topic itself.

These lessons clearly relate to our lives as believers. To know the Word is one thing, to live it is another…

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