There's a Big Difference


Sometimes Biblical principles can be like Algebra lessons: we know what God is saying but we're not focused on applying His truth to our lives. How can we overcome this "disconnect?"

A new school year. Plenty of challenging subjects and a lot to learn. I remember ninth grade Algebra. The concept was foreign. It felt like combining an English lesson with math – all those letters mixed in with numbers. It didn’t seem right.

A couple days into the class and I knew I needed help. Problems stared back at me on my homework assignment, and all I could do was stare back. Dad to the rescue. He taught me the principle that ‘what you do to one side of the problem, must be done to the other side.’ At first, I just watched him solve a problem. It still wasn’t making sense. The fog wasn’t lifting.

When it was my turn, I tried following the same pattern but I was lost. My goal was to finish my homework; I really wasn’t applying myself to learning this strange new subject. My Dad tried explaining the process another way. By the end of the evening, both of us were frustrated but I had gotten through the homework.

The next day in Algebra, the proverbial light bulb went off in my head. It all made sense. What my Dad had walked me through the night before, combined with the teacher’s explanation, gave way to understanding. I was no longer mortified to step up to the chalkboard and solve a problem because I was able to apply what I had learned. Ah, what a good feeling!

Sometimes Biblical principles are like that Algebra lesson. I know what God is saying, but I’m not focused on applying His truth to my life. There’s a big difference between knowing some facts and being able to apply them to real life.

I know God’s Word places an emphasis on loving others. In fact, almost an entire chapter in the New Testament is devoted to defining what ‘love’ is and is not. The Apostle Paul writes, “Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up. Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things, “ (1 Corinthians 13:4-7; KJV).

I may have this entire passage committed to memory, but when I’m in a situation that challenges me to demonstrate love to someone, and I respond selfishly and in anger, I’ve clearly missed the point. There’s a disconnect somewhere between my head and my heart. I may need to revisit these verses and analyze my actions. When I understand what they’re saying, I can make the choice to apply their meaning in my personal relationships.

Learning a bunch of facts that I can quote pales in comparison to being able to take what I’ve learned and apply it to every area of my life. Living out my Christianity involves more than just reading the Bible and being familiar with what it says. It’s actively applying the concepts that are contained in its pages. Today I choose to bridge the gap between my head and my heart, living out the principles pleasing to my Heavenly Father.

Do you struggle with a disconnect? What will you do today to apply what you know to be true?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for revealing the disconnect between knowing something and being able to apply it. Help me to understand what Your Word says and apply it to every situation in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

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