Knowledge Wisdom Understanding
My wife Robyn is susceptible to being, shall we say, conned, in the Ling household. And the children know it. They will spin a yarn girthed in sensationalism yet totally believable, only to have mother tentatively respond with the question “is that really true?” After all, how could she besmirch the integrity of her progeny? The clever yarns are the ones that take a week or two before the offender confesses their fake news story. Robyn being the incredibly gracious and forgiving lady that she is takes it in a good-natured way that reflects her trusting disposition. We’re waiting for that day when she absolutely spits the dummy and does something rash… like throw something at us.
We’re all susceptible to fake news, or over cranked stories, or untruths that we thought were gospel. Like remember when you were a child and an adult told you that you had to wait half an hour after eating a meal before you could go for a swim because of the increased risk of cramps? That was super hard on a summer holiday, watching the clock, asking is it time yet? Fake news. Untruth.
Or how about the claim that you lose most of your body heat through your head? Having been trained and involved in Police Rescue this was part of our management of walkers or climbers from the Tasmanian wilderness, particularly when they were hypothermic and there was no imminent helicopter recovery. The thinking back then was that more than 70% of your body heat could be lost through the neck/head. Fake news. Untruth. Dr Daniel Sessler, an anesthesiologist and expert on hypothermia, said the popular myth has its roots in some military experiments dating back more than fifty years. Bottom line is, the body does not lose most of its heat through the head.
Whether you have mischievous children or questionable information that you’re absolutely certain is gospel truth, we can all be led down the garden path. That’s why I love Paul’s prayer for his spiritual progeny that made up the church in Colossae. There was nothing exaggerated, no conspiracy, no fake news or untruth; just an earnest desire to see them grow in knowledge, spiritual wisdom, and understanding:
9 So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding.
This was a ‘filling out to completeness’ with a thorough knowledge of God’s will, ‘His will for the conduct of our lives’ (Meyer).” And the potential outcome?
10 Then the way you live will always honour and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. (Colossians 1:9–10)
‘Then the way you live’ = “walk” which is peripateō (περιπατεω), “to order one’s behaviour, to conduct one’s self” (Wuest), a favourite term of the Apostle. Indeed, the truth will set you free to live, free.
And by the way, going out in the cold with a wet head will not make you anymore sick than a dry head.