In the past few years, how many times have you heard the phrase “Knowledge is Power?”
A simple search in google using quotation marks, reveals that there are more than 23 million times this popular phrase is used. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard it said by personal development coaches, marketing specialist, teachers and even pastors. There was a season in my life when I began to say it as if it was Scripture.
Because I don’t like being a follower of the masses and since I believe that most “conventional wisdom” is, at best, mediocre and often incorrect, I decided to examine this popular phrase with an open Bible. Seeking to be a Berean, I choose to compare this modern proverb to the teaching of Scripture with a goal to see if it could stand the test of Isaiah 8:20.
My goal was simple: determine if “knowledge” truly produces POWER in the receiver’s life.
Though I had held the belief that knowledge produced power and often promoted the saying, I was aware that in my life and the life of others, there was a gap between “knowing and doing.” So many of us knew what we should be doing, but lacked the power, desire, commitment, resolve, devotion, discipline or diligence to get it done.
If you are anything like me, you probably said one or more of the following:
- “I KNOW I should eat better, if I want to live longer and be more productive”
- “I KNOW I need to begin a regular exercise program and take bettercare of myself.”
- “I KNOW I need to save money.”
- “I KNOW I need to start tithing if I want God’s blessing.”
- “I KNOW I need to read my Bible daily, so I can know His will.”
- “I KNOW I need to obey God in loving my enemies.”
- “I KNOW I need to spend more time with my family and less in my business.”
- “I KNOW I need to go to church more consistently.”
- “I KNOW I need to “get right” with God. Before it’s too late
The more I researched and compared the lives of those around me, the more my heart and conscience screamed, no way, this popular phrase is not true. If it is, then something is wrong with the Knowledge (information and facts) that many of us are getting.
It was obvious that most of the “knowledge holders” in my circles, lacked the POWER or ability to complete or fulfill the very things that we said “knowledge” would empower us to do.
As I embark on this journey to expose you to my conclusions regarding this popular phrase, I know that there will be some of you who will read this and still disagree, confirming that the influence of this statement upon society, the business world and popular culture is extensive! So at the outset, I want to say that after you read through my conclusions, if you remain steadfast in your belief that knowledge is power, that is fine.
However, my research and experience has revealed that if any unbiased, thinking-person were to closely examine the “conventional wisdom” that is normally referred to, when the phrase “knowledge is Power” is promoted; they would be forced to conclude that more “information and facts” does not equate to a change in what a person will or will not do.
Don’t get me wrong
I am not saying that knowledge cannot provide an advantage in many areas of an individual’s life. On the contrary, anyone that knows me, know that one of my passions is promoting the importance of continued education and learning for the purpose of spiritual, personal and “soul” development. Yet, many who complete 4+ years of college or further education have no greater “POWER” to deal with everyday challenges, disappointments or to do the things that they KNOW they should or desire to do.
This “lack of power” is even more disappointing when you look at the amount of Bible knowledge and information we carry in our nation, and compare it to the weakness of our churches, our homes and our personal lives
Later on, I will provide the reason and solution for this.
So what is Power?
Webster’s Dictionary defines Power as “…the ability to act or produce an effect.”
So let’s apply that simple definition to the phrase, “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER” and see if it pans out.
Conventional Wisdom promoted by the “gurus’ says,
You are not what you ought to be
You don’t have what you ought to have
You are unable to do what you would like to do
… All because you lack the knowledge or information to know what to do or how to do it!
If this is true, then we should have fewer individuals struggling with smoking, alcoholism, obesity, pornography and poverty. We should also have better marriages, disciplined children, financial prosperity, peaceful relationships, successful businesses, growing churches etc.
What about the ability to make healthier choices? How many individuals do you know who “KNOW” a relationship, a certain kind of food, or even certain habits are destructive, yet their knowledge does not empower them to stop or go in another direction?
In our next article we will define Knowledge, uncover the origins of the phrase “Knowledge is Power” and look at what Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich” had to say about Knowledge is Power!” I hope you will continue with me on this journey. It could be life changing for both of us!