Useless Knowledge

Monday, March 1, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lord I Want To Be A Christian"1 (Lyrics)

While working in a large technical library, I so often felt great satisfaction when admiring full library shelves after checking in books and filling the shelves with the returned books. The appearance was so satisfying! Looking so neat and well organized by the Dewey Decimal System, these books seemed to speak to me of all the possibilities of additional information and wisdom. It is the same feeling that I had the very first time when I walked into a large university library and was so amazed to see many floors with many rooms of books. I was filled with awe as I perused the titles on book spines in these large libraries and admired the vast collections. Then, I sadly realized that these books would have no value while they remained on the shelf. The books actually needed to be used by readers to fulfill their purpose. There is no way anyone could begin to absorb any of the wisdom or put the information to use unless they committed to actually take a book, read it intently, and most importantly, apply the facts and information learned from it. Otherwise, all the knowledge contained in them would be unused and thus useless. The books seemed to cry out, "There is much work to do!"

The apostle James reminds us of a similar spiritual principle.

James 1:22-25 – Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it — he will be blessed in what he does. (NIV)

James reminds us further that our faith must have deeds. Head knowledge is not the same as faith. The accumulation of biblical knowledge is not faith.

James 2:17 – In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Father, help us to take seriously our reading of Your holy Word. Help us to look intently and appreciate the wisdom, instruction, comfort, and direction available to us through it, by Your Holy Spirit teaching us. Show us where and how to apply this wisdom in our inner thoughts and outward deeds. Please use it to change us to bring You glory. Amen.

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About the author:

Sharon Lundquist <>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    May it be so, Sharon.

    So loving to be able to include the music. Thank you!

    This is so true. Thank you. I’ve forwarded your writing to my daily reading group. Keep well.

    Thank you,
    I start my day by reading the Presbyterian Daily.
    Thank you so much.

    Dear Sharon,
    This is a great application of a familiar truth. The connection to a well-known passage of Scripture made it even more pertinent. Thanks for the gentle nudge.

    Dear Sharon:
    Thank you for your words of wisdom.
    Awhile back I came across a beautiful lesson, “Read many good books, but live in the Bible”.
    I thought you would appreciate it.

    O Yay! for your encouraging reminder for us to READ so we may grow and change into the people we were meant to be! Thanks, Sharon, for writing about books, a subject close to my heart. What a blessing your writing today is to me and I know to other readers too. Blessings on the journey.

    Greetings Sharon,
    Thank you for your submission of today’s devotional. Yes, it certainly is something that we must do – heed the word of the Lord and not just “read” it. The familiar saying “actions speak louder than words” especially when we carry out work for our Lord.
    Blessings for your very meaningful writing.

    Thanks Sharon; love your devotion today.
    Yes, we must constantly keep our foot on the knowledge peddle to run it into wisdom.
    That’s the most difficult thing to do throughout our journeys here on earth.
    Keep up your faith, and may God bless you for your submissions,

    Dear Sharon,
    Welcome to the Presbycan writers. I could relate to your devotion very well. I love books. Was overtaken with emotion as I looked through the Harvard library window years ago and wondered if anyone read the books on the shelves in that particular area. Thanks for the encouragement to do what we have learned. Our gifts don’t do anyone any good when sitting on a shelf.

    Greetings and Blessings,
    I very much share your sentiments about books. Perhaps man’s greatest invention ever is the printing press, and the greatest book the Bible.
    The Biography of a book could be: “On my pages you may find all the wisdom of mankind.” I use the word “may” because it implies action, without which the wisdom remains locked between the covers.
    Well written my friend in Christ.
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Good morning Sharon,
    What a good reminder that God wants us to spread His word through telling our story to others or by being humble like Jesus and many other actions that show our faith. I do like my home when it is all freshly cleaned and tidied, but it is the same principle that if it is not used what a waste of having a home. I really liked the analogy of what a waste if the knowledge in the library is not used but just looks pretty. Thanks for sharing and as I pray your prayer with you, I hope that I can change and remember to do God’s will today.

    It has been “You are the only book others may read” meaning that our behaviour sends a message about Christianity.
    That book cannot be left on the shelf.

    Dear Sharon, Very needed reminders to all of us who are followers of Christ! Very warm and relatable illustration with very practical scripture references to spur us on. It’s much easier to make mental bookmarks with good intentions, than to be a doer of the Word.

    This is an excellent devotional to remind us to be doers of the word and not hearers only. As a reader and lover of knowledge, I need to be reminded not to just feast on the goodness and wisdom of the Lord but to let my cup be filled up with HIs love first. Then I can live with joy, purpose, and generously show up in others’ lives with the fruit of the Spirit that is from Him living HIs life in me Gal 2: 20. Thank you Mrs. Lundquist for penning these words.

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