Michael Nicholson loves going to school. He loves going to school so much he’s earned 29 degrees and doesn’t plan on stopping. Nicholson has one bachelor’s degree, two associates degrees, twenty-two masters degrees, one doctorate, and will begin his 30th degree program in the Fall.
Nicholson enjoys the experience of learning for learning sake. Nicholson told ABC News, “It's stimulation to go to the class, look at the material that's required and meet the teacher and students. It makes life interesting for me.” Nicholson finds satisfaction in gathering information, but has no intention of putting it use in the real world. He plans on going to school for the rest of his life.
We can be tempted to treat Christianity that way. We learn about Jesus. We recite the Creeds, memorize the Bible, and study books about church history. We take Sunday school classes about being a Christian. We spend so much time learning about being a Christian we don’t take time to put our knowledge into practice.
Ironically, that is far from the goal of Jesus and His Church. The Bible makes a very close connection between teachings and practice. Jesus insisted that all the teachings of the Law and the Prophets were summed up by two actions: loving God and loving neighbor. James says, “As the body without Spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” Gathering information with no purpose makes little sense in the Christian life.
As you go through the coming week, put the teachings of the scriptures, songs, and sermon into action. Let the worship that declares our love for God drive actions of love for God and neighbor. The teachings of Christ and His church call us all to faithful living. See how you can put that information into action this week. No degree required.