Looking for information? Ask Google. Want to start something new and need resources? Ask Google. Need the support of others? There’s probably a Facebook group to fit your needs. Information is good and helpful if coupled with action. Success demands you know, understand, and discern. More info is not the answer. Don’t be an information hoarder.
Lost in our thoughts
All the successful people I follow have the same advice—niche down. By that, they mean to create a very narrow focus for your work and dive deep. Believing I could reach the masses, I sat through webinars, downloaded free resources, and tweak this or that for longer than I should. In the end, they were right.
Late last year, I found the words to describe how I want to help my clients—purpose + process.
Yes, I see the irony in what I just wrote. After trying for years to believe I could do all things and be all things for everyone, I finally accepted the fact that what I am good at doing for others is also what I need to do for myself. What made the difference? Moving beyond collecting information to understanding and discerning.
The last time you considered doing something new, how long did it take to decide? What made you feel stuck? Were you able to move forward?
If you’re like me, one of the biggest challenges you face is your chronic overthinking. Maybe you want to keep collecting information until you feel like an expert. Possibly, you’re trying to determine the perfect way to move forward or the way others will like it best.
No matter the cause, you’re stuck in your head and can’t seem to get ahead. Believe me, you’re not alone. I know the feeling and understand your frustration.
What if the task ahead seems too large?
Although I have building experience, building a temple or palace exceeds my qualifications. Imagine facing the tasks laid out before Solomon: succeed your father whose legacy is being “the one after God’s own heart,” build a temple for God, build a palace for yourself and future kings, and generally establish Israel for future success.
The amount of information needed and decisions required is exponential. Plus, Solomon was a young man without extensive life experience. I imagine he was overwhelmed.
Knowing the plans, God prepares the way for Solomon. David prepares for the construction period by acquiring the wealth, materials, and connections his son will need. Solomon receives clear instructions and all the people and materials he needs to be successful.
More info is not the answer
With the people, plan, and materials in place, Solomon’s success depends on how he chooses to proceed.
“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said…“And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child. I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, too many to be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.” (1 Kings 3:5-12, emphasis added)
Solomon chooses well. More info is the answer. He needs wisdom and a discerning mind to understand what lies ahead and how to lead well.
Know, understand, and discern
Information alone doesn’t help you move forward. Knowledge can be acquired and held to no one’s benefit. Too often, we hesitate because we lack “enough” information, we want to be sure before we act.
You can never know enough to create certainty. Faith requires action.
If you wait for certainty, you’ll never start. Instead, you’ll live in a constant cycle of knowledge acquisition, always gaining more facts without facing the risk of taking action. More info is not the answer.
Knowledge allows you to acquire information. Understanding allows you to decipher information and make connections. Discernment allows you to apply what you’ve learned. Strive to know, understand, and discern. Be someone who learns and then trusts God as you move forward in faith.
Your Next Step:
Get out of your head. It’s time to tackle one decision you’ve been considering for too long.
Is there more information you need to faithfully gather or are you hoarding knowledge?
What is the next right step to get you closer to acting on the knowledge you already have?