The Difference between Knowing and Doing (Being)
The clinic auditor was an attractive gal, all dressed up in official–and expensive–cowgirl clothing and jewelry. We started conversing at one of my spring clinics, and I was informed within the first five sentences that mine was at least the fifth clinic she had attended so far that year. In the next five minutes, I had a brief summary of all the problems she and her gelding were working their way through: he tended to want to walk all over her on the ground, wouldn’t stand for mounting (she saw a ‘spark’ of hope there); didn’t want to leave the barn unless he was following another horse (but he was better in a round pen); and last but not least, he almost always ended up throwing her off before the end of her ride.
This last little habit made her decide to first work on gaining his respect from the ground, then she would get back to work under saddle. This was the reason she was auditing the clinic rather than riding in it. She acknowledged that she did get frustrated at times, but knew in her heart that Trickster was a truly great horse. They just needed time to work things out. She had owned the horse for three years, and been practicing ground work for more than one. . .and thought they were making some progress.
This woman really was a fount of knowledge. She had studied books and videos, attended clinics and expos, and generally just thought about her horse and horsemanship on a pretty much constant basis. Probably worked with her horse even in her sleep. She knew all the right terms, and had all the right answers–except one. Why didn’t she have a horse she could ride? When I posed this question, she started to back away from me.
“Some people just don’t understand,” she explained (not seeming nearly as patient with me as she evidently was with her horse), “Trickster is a work in progress, and needs to develop more trust in me. We’re building a bond, and that takes time. . .” Suddenly out of time for me, she beat a hasty retreat.
All of our horses are a work in progress, and developing skills does take time, patience, effort. That is equally true of us. As we endeavor in our daily walk to become more what our Heavenly Father desires us to be, we are going to always fall short of the mark in one way or another. We’re always going to see room for improvement, and need to be consciously on guard against unworthy thoughts, words, actions. Nevertheless, if there is genuine understanding and development taking place, there will be a point where we stop talking and thinking and studying about how to be a good Christian–and just go out and be one.
While we won’t obtain perfection, there will be steady improvement of our character as we fellowship with God and one another, and practice those things which He is continually planting into our hearts and minds: his laws. As we walk out the principles of our faith in our daily lives, we become consciously unaware of the progress we make until we begin to act not out of what we know-but out of who we have become.
John 1: 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
Romans 2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 6 For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, 7 Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
James 2: 14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? . . .18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?