Hi, I'm Andrée, and I'm a collector of "neat insights" (an AA style introduction).
I do not recall when this condition began. All I know is I started attending Christian retreats, lectures, and conferences, and greedily jotted down neat insights. Also I read the Bible with a pen in hand and filled little black and white composition pads with neat insights. These remain on my shelf to this day (the ones I didn't finally throw out), collecting dust---and judgment.
I have known a lot more of God's truth than I have practiced. Somewhere along the line I got to thinking it was enough to store up good doctrine. Included in that good doctrine was verses like this: "Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" (James 1:22). And this: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 7:21). Such was the subtleness of my deception. C.S. Lewis talks about theologians so busy studying Jesus that they lose Jesus.
I believe that the collecting of neat insights that never filter down to pavement-pounding obedience is the bane of a particular ilk of intellectual Christian: "Knowledge puffs up." Francis Schaeffer recognized the problem, writing in True Spirituality: "I think that much of the emphasis of the traditional, orthodox Church in the historic stream of the Reformation has laid insufficient stress on the conscious side of the Christian life."
Lest this blog post become another neat insight, I propose a homework assignment: Next time we hear a neat insight from a preacher, teacher, or friend, let's stop and pray over it immediately, thanking God for this illumination of a little corner of his truth and asking him to help us live it. Then let's live watchfully.
Matthew 11:12 is a verse against the armchair collection of neat insights. It tells us of the kingdom of heaven that "the violent take it by force." People who enter the kingdom and get somewhere in it are fiercely committed enthusiasts. They participate in the adventure by following Jesus, not by just sitting on the grassy knoll and eating the multiplied fish and bread.
Evan Roberts, God's instrument in the Welsh Revival of 1906, went around the country with four messages from God. The third was "Obey the Spirit's voice immediately." That would be the promptings you feel throughout the day to put into practice the neat insights you learned from God's Word. Ignore those promptings and Satan comes along to snatch them from your mind like so much seed on a path. Obey them and you find that your understanding of the neat insight enlarges and spawns still more neat insight to obey.
To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.