The Rule of Minimal Understanding

My phone has hundreds of features that I do not use or understand. My DirecTV was explained to me by the installer, but I don’t use much of anything he showed me. I own a smart TV, and I have learned to use a few things. I have so many gadgets and gizmos in my life that I have purchased that I barely know more than essential functions.

Recently I ran across an article that explained this phenomenon. Each year new phones and computers are introduced with fancy features. The truth is that most people do not utilize all the special functions they already have on their current technology. The problem is an issue of minimal understanding. Once we gain enough knowledge to make something useful, we have a natural tendency to stop learning anything new.

We tell ourselves that one day we will learn more useful information about our product. We hold these dreams that there will come a day when we sit down and study the manual. Some day we will scroll through features and try things out. We might even plan to google some possible helps, and we will become a master of our technology.

Truthfully, we will never do it. There are usually only two reasons that we learn a new way to use our gadget. First, someone we know, and trust shows us a unique use and thoroughly explains it to us. Second, we are forced to learn to regain its minimal usefulness.

This realty applies to more than technology. It also applies to our spiritual life. Many people reach a turning point in their lives. A new job, marriage, childbirth, a job loss, divorce or some other issue pushes us into a new way of life. We get excited about the prospects that this new life holds when we apply Jesus to it. We listen and learn. We read and search to get a grasp on all that faith can mean. Soon we know enough that things are usable in our faith. We experience grace, we understand the cross and our guilt is removed. We reach the minimal understanding of following Jesus.

The question is, will we go beyond minimal understanding? I hope that everyone who comes to Jesus begins to use the features. Just like your fancy new phone, it has far more going for it than you understand. Will you push forward to learn all about it? I know people say they want to be more and dream of being a spiritual giant, but will they? It is possible that some believers will just live at the same level of understanding and use.

God may one day push us to grow. A friend may walk into our lives and give us a deeper level of faith. Maybe? I just hope that one day we do not think our faith is a failure and trade it in for something different because of our lack of knowledge.

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