Knowledge is useless without obedience.
I’ve been meditating on this sentence all day. It’s so incredibly true that I’ve felt compelled to apply it to all areas of my life. What good is knowledge, that is, acquiring information and understanding on a topic, if you do not transfer it into action?
I spend a lot of time reading and researching about health. I think a lot of us do. I mean, in the fitness community, we’re always keeping up to date on our blogs, scientific articles, anecdotal evidence from peers, podcasts, magazines… I could go on forever. In general, American culture is proficient in collecting and consuming information. Whether it’s Oprah shelling out nutritional advice (ummm…) or we pick Michael Pollan’s latest book and read every night (better choice), we’re being bombarded with data every day. Granted, not all the health and fitness advice out there is worth filing away in your memory bank. A great deal of it is complete bullocks. Some of it can’t be taken at face value because it necessitates a trial and error period. Most of it is just trying to sell you useless crap.
But just think for a second about all the general health knowledge you might have rolling around in your brain. Simple things like, “avoid processed foods”. “eat smaller portions”. “sugar is the devil”. When push comes to shove, do you actually follow through in obedience to the truth you have learned? Or are you too easily lured back for seconds when you’re not actually hungry. Or eager to go to frozen yogurt with the gal pals, even though you’d never go get that stuff by yourself?
Changes in our health do not occur with a one time resolution to stay away from grains or take our fish oil one night. Health is the result of consistent adherence to the knowledge we’ve gained about healthy living. Day in and day out, do you make healthy choices?
I find that this same principle applies to other areas of my life.
Strength and Recovery: Do I train consistently? Do I stretch and make my muscles pliable everyday? I know these things will make me stronger. But if I only lift weights once a week and stretch “if I remember”, I’m not going to get very far. Likewise, I know that going to bed at 10 pm is better than going to bed at midnight. But if I consistently go to bed late and still wake up with my alarm at 6 am, my health will suffer.
Marriage: I know what it takes to be a good wife. I need to love and serve my husband every day. Make sure that we both have mutual respect and understanding on certain topics and that we regularly make time to be together. What happens if I choose to “do my own thing”. Go out every night with my friends. Let him do his own laundry, make his own food, and only talk to him when we’re both brushing our teeth in the morning? Our marriage is going to SUCK, not for lack of knowledge but bacause I know what I should be doing as a wife and I’m not doing it.
If I don’t actively make my husband a priority, then it means that he isn’t.
If I don’t actively make my health a priority, then it isn’t.
It’s vital that we act on our convictions. When it comes to health, relationships, or faith… our overall well-being depends on our resolve to live out our beliefs through action.