SHINE: Increase by the Spirit — When You Know Better, Do Better

SHINE! … By the Spirit™ with Tonya M. Evans

When You Know Better, Do Better

© 2011 Tonya M. Evans

July 11, 2011

“Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you. Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment. If you prize wisdom, she will make you great. Embrace her, and she will honor you She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.” Proverbs 4: 6-9  NLT

When I reflect over my life I am constantly in awe. I mean real, jaw-dropping awe. I am in awe of the many “right” decisions I’ve made for my life’s path and – perhaps even more so – absolutely amazed about the (oh so many) “wrong” ones. I marvel at the times when I seemed to succeed in spite of my actions (or inactions), thoughts (or misunderstandings) and beliefs (READ: fears) as much as those occasions when I seemed to miss the mark completely despite my best efforts and intentions. And – and this is probably one of my chronic mistakes – I continue to ask why?!

More specifically, I wondered what I “knew” (or did not know) when I was faced with one of the thousands (literally) of decisions humans make every day. In fact, some research suggests that adults in the United States make over 35,000 decisions each day. Daily decisions like choosing the “right” line at the grocery store (and have you ever tried to pick a new cereal!!??). And then there’s the “right” lane on the highway, or route to work, or day to schedule an online bill payment, or which seat to pick on the train, or selecting a great vacation destination, or what advice to give (or not give), or whom to ask for advice or a favor, or when to go to the doctor, when to quit your job, when to begin a relationship or when to end it … whether to lie or cheat or steal or covet or kill … and the hardest sometimes, whether to forgive.

From the simplest and seemingly least impactful decisions to those significant forks in life’s path that can forever alter your time here on earth. But the most eye-opening part of some research is that most decisions we make aren’t consciously made. In many instances we don’t identify on a conscious level that we are faced with a choice and must decide X over Y. The process begins and sometimes ends without our conscious participation or assent.

Our decisions are informed by many things; namely, past experience, expectations, love, fear, attachment and intuition. And I believe it’s that last part – intuition – that aligns us most closely with the God whisper that Spirit provides in our lives. Perhaps knowledge + intuition + discernment / right action = wisdom.

Reflecting on this I was led to contemplate the difference between human knowledge (“acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation”) and spiritual wisdom; that is, acceptance of and faith in the divine mystery of being and belief in divine stasis, wellness, wholeness, order and love (a/k/a spiritual enlightenment).

The Bible offers many scriptures about knowledge and wisdom and makes a clear distinction between the two.

“When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths.”1 Corinthians 2:13 NLT

Many people possess a knowledge-base of religious principles or “right from wrong”; what day to take communion, which song to sing, or scripture to recite or candle to light, when the offering is collected, when to stand, sit and kneel, what day(s) to worship, when to pray, the institutional hierarchy and doctrine, the Commandments and so forth.

But studying and understanding religion and its principles does not insure spirituality; that is, a loving, divine connection with a higher power and all of humanity and creation. For example, the African slave trade was created and maintained by Christian European nations and the Bible contains over 180 references to the word “slave” .

Therefore, it is clear that “religious” people can at the same time lack the wisdom and spiritual discernment to really live it. And the evidence can be found in the decisions people make; from whether to hold the elevator door or only pretend to whether to love or forgive others – and yourself.

Eckhart Tolle describes it as the difference between studying the characteristics, origins and attributes of honey versus actually tasting it for oneself. In the former instance, one can have a great deal of “facts” about honey. But only in the latter instance can one actually know honey for oneself.

So ask yourself do you know the Divine? Really, truly know the Divine for yourself?

“I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”  — Maya Angelou

When we know better, we do better. Today day affirm that you know better because you are wise in God. Seek wisdom, divine wisdom. Don’t just know intellectually about love. Know LOVE. Increase the strength of your connection to God and be LOVE.

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One Response

  1. This is great! I know when I earnestly seek wisdom/right direction (READ: “knock”), GOD answers. And when I walk consciously in love, I KNOW it. I feel it mirrored & increased. And I know that can only be the Divine Connected Spirit. -J

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