WHAT MATTERS IS WHO YOU KNOW, NOT WHAT YOU KNOW

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IT IS NOT WHAT YOU KNOW BUT WHO YOU KNOW THAT MATTERS

“Ignorance is bliss.” Thomas Gray

This world thrives on knowledge and information. The internet was created to share knowledge and information. The fundamental underpinning of all economic theories and assumptions is perfect market knowledge. In fact, knowledge and information has become so crucial that countries base their economies on knowledge, thus coining the term ‘Knowledge Based Economy’.

But the irony of all this is that the more we seek to know, what is revealed is not our abilities, but our inabilities. Indeed, even Aristotle and Einstein bemoaned the seeming futility of man’s quest for knowledge.

“The more you know, the more you know you don't know.” Aristotle

“The more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know.” Albert Einstein

And this is not a modern realization. For millennia, man has known this because it is recorded for us in the Bible these words of Solomon,

“I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.
What is crooked cannot be made straight,
And what is lacking cannot be numbered.
I communed with my heart, saying, “Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind.
For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” Ecclesiastes 1:12-18

Mind you, Solomon was no ordinary king. In power, wealth and influence, He was considered one of, if not, the best that ever lived. Indeed, even Jesus made reference to Solomon’s greatness,

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Matthew 6:28-29

Yet, this great man could not even unravel the mysteries of God and of creation. To him was hidden the ‘mysteries of life’.

So does this mean that we should all give up learning and live in blissful ignorance? No beloved child of God; by no means. Because, to borrow the famous line, so famous, its origins have been forgotten, ‘It’s not what you know, but who you know that matters’.

According to Rotter’s social-learning theory of personality, we all have a perceived locus of control. This is the extent to which individuals believe they can control events affecting them. Now, in order to effectively manage what is in our locus of control, we need knowledge. Else, the situation is, quite literally, out of our control. So this really is the reason and motivation behind us wanting to acquire knowledge; so that we can widen our locus of control and better manage our situations.

Let us then take the advice of Jesus and consider the lilies of the field. What is their locus of control? You are right, they have none. Biologically they do not have a brain, so they cannot control their biological processes. Yet Jesus says that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like the lilies of the field. So what does this tell us about locus of control? Yes, for us who believe, the smaller the better.

Think about this, who is the greatest in a normal, loving family? The parents? No, it is the child. The child is cared for, provided for and loved by the parents regardless of what he does or does not do. It is true that he has very little locus of control. But that does not mean that his needs are not met to the best that they can be; far from. So similarly for us who believe, who are part of our Father’s family, we too have a loving Father in God and a loving brother in Jesus, who will look after our needs and provide for them regardless of what we did or did not do. Beloved, remember Jesus said,

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matthew 6:25-34

Our Father does not hide behind half-truths and incomplete knowledge either. He does not deliberately frustrate our attempts from acquiring knowledge just so that He can keep us in the dark about what we are able to receive; not at all. In fact, He spells it out plainly for us, many times over, this example being just one of many.

“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds; the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.
Then all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.
And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.
The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand.
You shall lend to many nations and not borrow.” Deuteronomy 28:1-12

Because, in the end, remembered that Jesus said,

“Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.” Matthew 13:11

And what is this that we have been given to know?

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32

And what is the truth? The truth is not a ‘what’. It is a ‘who’.

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6

We know Jesus. That is enough. We need not know any more than Him because He said,

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11

Beloved, take a lesson from Solomon and the greatest thinkers of our time. Do not widen your locus of control unnecessarily. There are many things that are beyond your control. But take heart that,

“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Instead, labor to know more about Jesus and His love for you, labor to know more about our Father and His love for you, and let Them control what is Theirs to control. For in the end, remember,

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

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