If I’ve been challenged in any area of my walk with God it’s the constant battle of learning about God (information) and knowing God (intimacy). I absolutely love learning, in fact, I often feel like Neo from the Matrix when I listen to tapes, read books, etc.. I get all of this information crammed in my brain and it makes me feel amazing, for the moment. I’m addicted to gathering information.
Glen Packiam recently wrote a book that I haven’t gotten a chance to read yet, called Second Hand Jesus. The thesis is essentially that we live in a culture that experiences God 2nd hand through books, listening to sermons, etc.instead of experiencing Him for ourselves.I believe we’ve experienced a lot of things second hand.
Over time, I’ve come to the realization that I can know a ton about God, but not KNOW God. I can know a lot about leadership, but not actually be leading. I can learn a lot about love, but not actually love. I can learn a lot about successful relationships, and have nothing but shallow relationships.
While I’ve experienced God for myself, I haven’t to the level that I want to. While I’ve led to a certain level in my life, I haven’t developed my potential as a leader as I should have . . . you get the picture. All because I’m more focused on information than intimacy, learning than doing, talking instead of walking…
The problem with this lifesytle is that it’s not real. Until you’ve moved beyond information to intimacy, learning to doing, talking to walking… You’ve never actually lived what you’ve learned, but how often do we learn something new and believe we’re living it because we’ve read it.
I don’t know if you struggle with this or not, but I know this, I’m finished living this lifestyle. While I’m comitted to being a life long learner, I’m making a commitment to refuse to continue to just gather information so I can say I did or quote something cool from a book or sermon. Instead, I’m going to start focusing on being with God, actually leading, actually doing what I’m learning. I know this is the season God is bringing me into… and I couldn’t be more thrilled.
What about you? Are you an information addict? What do you do to combat this?