Greetings dear reader. We are very pleased to bring you an exclusive today from a former student. Collen Ngwarati is currently pursuing his Master’s in Divinity with Abilene Christian University (ACU). He shares with us his views on knowledge and integrity and their vitality for Bible preachers and teachers.
Knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful and at the same time integrity without knowledge is weak and useless. Combining these two within the same individual will produce a perfect being and lacking either will make one be like a half-baked cake. As students and aspiring teachers of the word, we ought to walk the talk and talk the walk as either affects and influence the other in “lex orandi, lex credendi and lex vivendi.” In 2Tim 2:15, studying and rightly dividing the word of truth is a holy mandate but there is a temptation which lies at the doors of many theologians as they will claim to know it all which is never a level to be attained in this lifetime as far as the things of God are concerned. With all humility, prayerfulness and zeal we need to approach the Bible with a different eye and attitude from how we do with other secular books.
The Knowledge that we acquire as students of the Bible is there to help us enlighten the church, the image and intensions of God to humankind. It is not for us to step on others and raise our shoulders high and see all others as “moving trees.” Acquired knowledge that lacks action and practice in a well described and prescribed personality will be like credentials on the wall with nothing in the head. With much knowledge, comes power; and we are reminded of Lord Acton’s words; Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely; one who has power should also have the power to earn how to use that power. People have to see what we profess to know in our beings more than we would try to tell them what we know. It is often said that a sermon lived is more powerful than a sermon preached. Is more of what people see that seems to change their lives more than they are told, and a combination of the two have more effect. It is of little wonder, therefore, that many people would prefer a television to a radio. The world walks more by sight more than, and sometimes never, by faith and for us to change that mentality to align with scriptures (2Cor 5:7), that change has to begin with us.
Unlike in the ancient Greek communities where right message was that which was spoken right, today’s societies and communities need messages that are spoken right, yes, but most importantly, the message also have to be lived right. Right knowledge and right integrity produces right actions that are ought to be done at the right time, the right way and for the right reason which will certainly make one whole. Knowledge of good and bad is at the doorstep of nearly everybody and it is integrity that drives one to choose what to go with. Integrity moves knowledge from the head to the heart and it the heart which make us to do good as a virtue not only as a duty. Socrates once said an unevaluated life is not worth living. It is important to do a self-evaluation to check if integrity and knowledge is present within oneself.