Connect Lesson #51: Inspiration, Not Just Information By Jeremias Alicea
Overview (5-7 Minutes)
Today, we are experiencing an age of information like no other generation has before, processing information at record speeds. From historical documents to personal identity profiles, we’re able to obtain endless info with impeccable accuracy. That being said, we also know that society thrives on knowing other people’s business from celebrities to personal associates and it’s quite easy to fall into the trap of wanting information for the wrong reason. But we also know that some information, intriguing as it might be, may actually not be beneficial to us at all. They say ignorance is bliss. Being willfully ignorant is suppose to absolve incriminating behavior. Sure, there are some things of which we don’t want to be willfully ignorant, but being in the know about everything may not always be beneficial. We all know people who thrive on knowing other people’s business. After all, idleness leads to nosiness. Paul talks about this in 1 Timothy 5. While he’s referencing a specific group of people in that scripture, the principle remains that those who are idle often involve themselves in the lives of others. Proverbs 16:28 tells us that perverse people sow strife and whisperers destroy friendships. Proverbs 26:22 tells us that gossip is like tasty morsels. They don’t call gossip “juicy” for no reason, people love to eat that stuff up! Knowing other people’s business, especially if it doesn’t pertain to us, can cause us to take up unnecessary burdens and unwittingly align ourselves with inane causes.
Discussion Questions (15-20 Minutes)
Q#1: How can having useless, idle knowledge be detrimental to a believer?
Q#2: How have you experienced the impact of worldly wisdom in your life or in the lives of others?
Life Application (5-7 Minutes)
We’ve got enough to deal with as it relates to an increase in knowledge. Ecclesiastes 1:18 makes it clear, that with much wisdom is much grief and he who increases knowledge, increases sorrow. In other words, as we’re increasing in knowledge and wisdom, what’s not of God becomes more evident, bringing us Godly sorrow, which in turn leads to repentance (2 Corinthians 7:10). 2 Peter 1:3 says that His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. All we need to know has already been provided to us. We’re living in a new, perverse “Age of Enlightenment”. As Satan did in the garden with Adam and Eve, today we are meant to feel as if there are some things we “need to know” in order to be “enlightened”. It has nothing to do with God’s wisdom. This so-called enlightenment ironically brings people to a place of darkness. Why? Because it’s all self-motivated. In fact, James calls bitterness, envy, and self-seeking a form of demonic wisdom, calling it earthly, and sensual (James 3:14-15). Our pursuit must be to seek those things that pertain to life and godliness. Knowledge IS vital, in fact, scripture tells us that God’s people perish for a lack of it, but we must be mindful of what we know and why we need to know it. Our pursuit of knowledge should be attained for the purpose of building ourselves up so that ultimately we may build our relationship with God and others. Some people pursue knowledge, even godly knowledge, so they can hold it over people, and it’s often done subconsciously. For those who struggle with insecurities, gaining knowledge helps them feel empowered, and as they grow in knowledge, they can become arrogant. To this, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 8:1 knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. Knowledge is important, but love is more important than knowledge. Remember, God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Let’s all pursue love and humility and even in our pursuit of knowledge, let us do so for the purposes of building each other up and strengthening the body as a whole. It’s more about quality than quantity and gaining more inspiration than just information!