Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good; impatience will get you into trouble. Some people ruin themselves by their own stupid actions and then blame the Lord. Do yourself a favor and learn all you can; then remember what you learn, and you will prosper. (Proverbs 18:2-3, 8)

Zeal without knowledge may just lead to you and I acting a little too quickly on occasion. Act too quickly and we may just charge ahead when it would have been wiser to stay behind. Zeal is the energy we put into the pursuit of anything or anyone. Too much can get in the way because it messes with God's timing. Too little can get be just as difficult to manage because it makes it difficult to be in the right place at the right time with the right resources in hand. Whenever we move into areas where we do not have personal experience (first-hand knowledge), we might do so with great enthusiasm, but what happens when our movements are just 'enthusiastic'? We don't do very well. 

Knowledge is designed to be shared, but until it becomes personal, it is of very little value to the one exposed to it. If you build Legos for a living and make all those instruction books included in the box of building blocks, you likely have first-hand experience with those designs. Until we follow the specific diagrams and examples given, we don't have either. We can only envision what our pile of blocks will look like, but if we plunge ahead without following those instructions to the letter, the instructions were just paper in the box. They were included in full color and nicely organized for our understanding - our impatience to get from a pile of blocks to a finished airplane did not produce an airplane even remotely resembling what the designer had in mind. We need to apply the knowledge we are provided.

We move into territory all the time where we have very little personal knowledge - creating many an opportunity for us to be exposed to things we'd never imagined possible in the journey. Moving without knowledge might be considered faith to some, but even faith is based on some truth. We have an element of knowledge we hang our hats on and then take the first steps forward. Beware - any steps taken without applying even the minimal knowledge we have been given may just lead to a whole lot more "exposure" than we'd like. God wants us to have passion in our pursuit of right living, but he also wants us to exercise wisdom in that pursuit.

To wrestle with an unfamiliar enemy without any knowledge of that enemy would spell disaster for anyone attempting to do so. People ruin their lives, not so much because they intend to, but because they come up against all kinds of unfamiliar enemies and have no idea how to deal with them. We might call this foolishness in action, but in reality, we have all been there. What is unfortunate is when we blame God for our failure in these battles instead of seeing the folly in our having plunged ahead without any knowledge for the battle ahead. Truth is, we are often given at least one or more warnings before heading into these battles - we just don't pay attention to them. If we'd learn to listen to the warning(s), we might just avoid the missteps. Just sayin!


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