by Jim Campbell, First Baptist Church of Melbourne, Florida
I think we’ve all done something that we would deem “stupid”. At some point, we may have shaken our head, took a deep breath and thought, “I know better than that”…and we probably did. We’ve watched a leader or a celebrity or a professional athlete make a mistake that severely tarnishes their image or destroys their career, and thought “they should have known better.” They had all the talent, or all the money or all the authority. They were some of the smartest business people or speakers or politicians with thousands or even millions of adoring fans. They should have known better, because we think, mistakenly, that all we need to do better is to know better.
We all can fall prey to the fallacy that if we knew enough, we could avoid moral failure. Secularly, we think that one more law, program, class, speech or piece of knowledge will equip someone to conquer the desire to do what is wrong. We think that if everyone gets an education, a job, a house and a spouse, with 3.5 kids, they’ll be fine…and when they do, and they aren’t, we’re shocked.
We fall into this ideology in the church, too. We think one more Bible study or one more famous pastor’s book or one more Bible verse memorized can save us, but that’s not true.
This line of thought is like trying to chase tomorrow. Just when we are seconds from catching tomorrow, the clock turns and we are as far away as we’ll ever be…once again to chase, but never to catch, because tomorrow is always out of reach. The reality is that we will never gain enough knowledge to avoid what is within us alone.
At the end of Matthew 9, Jesus went through the country in His time, seeing all manner of disease, distress, sickness, mental and emotional illness or horrid compulsion, and his response was to send people out that would introduce others to Him, and that’s what His response always has been.
If one more lesson learned at a church meeting or one more enlightened quote from a politician as they passed that special law could stop someone from doing wrong, it would have been done a long time ago. Being rich doesn’t make you wise. Being powerful doesn’t make you self-controlled. Being smart doesn’t make you moral, because information doesn’t make you right.
The truth is that the solution and salvation we seek was never in what we know, but in WHO we know and the only who that will make a difference is Jesus.