***As a general disclaimer I would just like to warn you that I am messy; sorry but it’s true. So this blog might not reveal the nicest side of me – but I am trying and God is working***
I think I was pretty young when I first heard the saying “knowledge is power”. In school it was hammered into my head that, if I wanted to succeed, I needed to take in all the information I possibly could; I needed to know a lot. The overall intentions of this concept were certainly good – but what happens when that knowledge comes at the expense of others? When it only serves our pride by giving us a sense of power over other people?
This week, my prayer focused on an examination of my past – all the people and experiences over the last 25 years that have impacted my life, helping to form me into who I am today. There were countless memories and tid-bits I had forgotten; however, this need to “know” topic caused me to look a little deeper into my heart.
Knowledge in and of itself is good; yet the more I prayed this week, the more I discovered that there was a specific point when my desire to learn changed and I became like Eve, in the book of Genesis – I needed to know everything, so that no one would know more than me. I don’t know if that transition makes a lot of sense to anyone except me…basically, I think there are two pathways: there is an innocence that can exist in the pursuit of knowledge, and then there is a prideful quest as well.
Unfortunately, the latter is where I find myself most often. I love trivia and learning new things – in my book, Jeopardy is the greatest TV game show ever created – still, I am now in a position where I need to evaluate my motive behind the desire to “know”. Do I want to learn something simply so I can repeat it later and sound intelligent? Do I spit out information concerning a certain situation or person, so that I can rub my brother’s face in the fact that I knew something he didn’t?
Can you see the difference between that motivation and merely desiring to learn?
It is pretty commonplace in today’s society to throw the knowledge card in order to glorify ourselves – whether it’s by spewing unnecessary information at the drop of the hat, or holding onto parts of a story, simply to have the upper hand . It is ugly, but it happens everyday. The problem is I don’t want to be a part of that society anymore – its toxic to my heart and my relationships.
So, my prayer is for the grace of prudence when speaking and holier motives when seeking knowledge. I want to learn, but I no longer want it to be at the expense of other people; I want to remove any self-glorification that comes from maintaining information. I want to stop making knowledge an idol. Pray for me, I am praying for you.