How Do You Know What You Know
By, Susan Sage
Mom shook her head, arms crossed over her slight frame, “How do you know how to iron when you’ve never ironed?”
“I watched you do it,” I said, thinking it a reasonable assumption.
“You can’t really learn how to do something just by watching,” she responded.
“But, I know how to do it already,” I said, passion building with each word.
“Then show me,” said my wise mother.
Satisfaction building inside of me, I took a shirt out of the basket and flopped it over the ironing board. Picking up the iron, I pushed it and moved it across the cloth. Frustration built as nothing happened to the shirt.
She took the iron from my hand, tipped it forward, and turned it on. She pulled the piece of clothing off the board, shook it out, spread it flat across the surface, and smoothed it with her hand. She motioned for me to stand in front of her; guiding my hand to pick up the iron, she showed me how to slide it over the material.
I knew the truth of how to iron. I’d seen it done numerous times. I didn’t know how to iron from experience.
I wish I could tell you this was the only time I used my “I know because I saw it” excuse. I didn’t learn that easily.
Regrettably, I carried this over to my spiritual life as well. Growing up in a Bible-believing, Bible-teaching home and having attended a Bible college, I knew certain truths to be, well, truthful.
Because God defeated the Devil through Jesus death, burial, and resurrection:
Grace can override legalism
Love has the ability to conquer hate
Peace can win over difficulties
Joy may override sorrow
Kindness could foil meanness
Goodness possibly confounds evil
Gentleness even has a chance of overthrowing aggressors
God’s plan tromps the enemy’s ideas.
Yes, I knew those things much as I knew how to iron without ever having picked it up myself.
However, unless I am willing to own those through action and attitude, they are just truths someone once said. Unless I’m willing to have God’s grace flow from me, I haven’t learned anything about it.
If I chose hate and anger instead of love, I’ve proven God’s love isn’t in me.
If I don’t allow peace to settle over the troubles I may face, I have not experienced one of God’s greatest treasures given to me.
I feel, think, live, and speak the actual truths I believe.
If I don’t take the truths of God into my heart and allow the Holy Spirit to teach me through them, they are just words. Until I experience them for myself, and take a personal step of applying myself to their truth, it is the same as the ironing. I can know things about God in my head, but until I trust His truth and accept it as my own, it is not personal.
I hope today, each of us will take a step to walk with God and experience Him personally. Makes a difference between knowing and experiencing His truths.
Let's meet the author.
Susan Sage is from N. California where she lives with her husband, son, and very energetic golden retriever. She writes a weekly blog, found at susansage.com where she uses every day circumstances to encourage women in their faith walk with God. Susan enjoys reading in many genres, teaching women’s Bible studies, and spending time with friends at every opportunity. Currently she is working on a book incorporating the things she has learned as she has dealt with physical ailments, hoping to complete it by early 2015. Susan speaks for women’s retreats, luncheons, and other engagements. Her topic of choice involves helping women find their identity in God’s love.
You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at her website.