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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Knowing "about" differs from knowing

There are always going to be things in life we have "heard about", but have never seen.  If we are to be perfectly honest here, we have heard about a whole lot that we don't understand, but we just accept it as fact.  I was scrolling the posts of friends this morning just out of curiosity to see what was going on in the lives of those I follow online.  There were things from cute pictures of babies being stunned by a toy chicken laying colored eggs to celebrations of family event.  Then one thing caught my eye - but I simply did not read any further - not because I could not consider the possibility of it being true, but because at some point I have to censor what it is I allow into my brain!  It was a post about our President requiring some type of a radio ID implantable tag to be placed in all Americans by 2017.  Now, I know this is not beyond the realm of possibility as we have been doing this with animals for ages now.  Yet, if I take everything at face value which I see or hear, I will sometimes form some pretty wrong opinions of others, jump to conclusions about the issues, etc.  We often jump to conclusions based on what we hear, but never take the thing we hear about and put it to the test.  In turn, we just "react" to the thing we hear and then we might find we are off-base in our understanding.  We need both - hearing and listening; discovery and understanding.

No one can oppose you, because you have the power to do what you want. You asked why I talk so much when I know so little. I have talked about things that are far beyond my understanding. You told me to listen and answer your questions. I heard about you from others; now I have seen you with my own eyes. (Job 42:1-5 CEV)

When I checked this out to actually see if it was part of the "Final Rule" passed which enacted what Americans refer to as "Obamacare", I found it was not even part of the Final Rule (HR 3590 and HR 4872).  It WAS proposed in the initial writing, but the final version passed WITHOUT this wording.  The whole purpose was to establish a "registry" of those individuals with implants already - such as pacemakers or even my artificial knee.  Recall notices often don't reach the right people simply because we are a very "portable" society. Since these devices can be recalled at any time due to defects not immediately recognized, a registry creates a way of tracking these devices.  Each company has these, but when company after company is bought up by bigger companies, it becomes harder and harder to track these patients.  I believe the purpose of the "registry" was proposed in order to help simplify this process.  Now that we know that, it sheds a different light on what was proposed, but what never became final, doesn't it?

Some people "talk a great deal" about what they know very "little" about.  Just spend about 20 minutes one day scrolling through the posts online and you will find a great deal which may have your head spinning.  It is a truly "prolific" period in terms of our "media" opportunities, is it not?  We can post almost anything and in short order, it can go what is commonly referred to as "viral".  Why?  People are hungry for the "scoop" - they just don't take time to investigate the facts behind the latest "rant", "fad", or "hype".  Ebola is not exactly beyond my understanding, as I have some basic microbiology classes and understand the basics of how viruses and bacteria find hosts,  replicate, and soon cause devastating disease of mass proportion.  I cannot say I understand "Ebola", though.  I have a "working knowledge" of it, but truthfully, this whole "mutating" of a bacteria or virus is beyond what I have studied - so I cannot say I understand more resistant strains of these "bugs" any better than I understand the basics of the original disease.  I "do" understand the principles of disease, how to protect myself and others from "contact" with potential disease, and the best infection control practices I have learned over the years.  This is what I can speak to - but maybe not all the details of the actual disease I am protecting myself and others against.

Job is in conversation with God and at this very moment recorded for us for all time, he admits to what we all have a tendency to do on occasion - we talk about things which are beyond our present understanding.  In time, we may come into fuller understanding, but if we just hold onto what we believe to be true and never expand our knowledge of the subject at hand, we may have either a "flawed" impression of the truth, or we may never get to the "full" truth.  It is indeed God's intent for each of us to become students of the truth - to accept small bits of truth, but to go on to discover the fuller and deeper meaning of truth in our lives.  Without this growth, we are always living with something less than the "bigger picture".  God's view is infinite - ours is finite.  Yet, even in our "finite" view of life, God gives us glimpses into truth beyond our means of discovery - asking us to embrace it and put it to the test.  God never accuses us of wrongdoing when we put truth to the test.  


Dear friends, don’t believe everyone who claims to have the Spirit of God. Test them all to find out if they really do come from God. Many false prophets have already gone out into the world, and you can know which ones come from God. His Spirit says that Jesus Christ had a truly human body. But when someone doesn’t say this about Jesus, you know that person has a spirit that doesn’t come from God and is the enemy of Christ. You knew that this enemy was coming into the world and now is already here.   (I John 4:1-3 CEV)  Learning to speak about what we have clear and certain knowledge of is important because then we can identify when it is we are being "fed" something which is untrue or not quite on the mark.  We can "judge" the spirit of a man by the spirit which indwells him, so we are told to test those who "proport" truth - not just accept it at face value. We can hear a great deal "about" God from others - coming into a revelation of what is true of God for ourselves is quite different.  We can hear about - or we can discover for ourselves. The choice is ours.  Just sayin!