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The Overweight Christian (Leader)

This isn’t a post about physical fitness (although I could write one…and the audience would include myself). It’s a post about what we do with knowledge.

I know a lot of Christians who are 5,000 bible verses overweight. And I know more than a few Christian leaders who are several hundred podcasts, blog posts and books overweight. We’ve consumed far more than we’ve applied.

Somewhere along the way we developed a line of thinking that said maturity = knowledge. A mature Christian is a someone who knows a lot about the bible. A mature leader is someone who knows a lot about life, faith and leadership. Makes sense, right?

Maybe not.

While knowledge at some level is essential, we live in an information age.  Most of us have access to far more information than we can digest. Podcasts, blogs, books, social media conversations, articles and more have filled our brains with significantly more knowledge than we can process, let alone apply.

What if the real test for maturity wasn’t the possession of knowledge, but the right application of it?  What if maturity = application?

The problem, most of the time, isn’t that we don’t know enough, it’s that we don’t do enough with what we know.

Maybe knowledge is like food in some respects. We need a daily intake, but unless we work it off by applying it, we misuse it. Perhaps a better question that “what did I learn today?” is “what did I do with what I learned today?”

I think the world might be different if we stopped living in information overload and started to work toward application overload. I know my world would be different.

What do you think keeps you from applying what you know? What helps you apply it?



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  • Pat LaBuick

    From the viewpoint of a woman, I get it…part of what I feel happens to me, is that while I am taking in Biblical knowledge, and making that connection from the head to the heart…things get lost in the busyness of our lives. What we see as an inconvenience could be something that God wants us to learn. Hey it’s all a process…just need to be heading in the right direction.

    • Carey

      Things sure do get lost in the busyness. Thanks Pat.

  • Great points Carey. Far too much of what passes for Christian maturity is being over-informed while under performing. I love the notion of being “overweight” in verses. Maturity for me is not knowing the Bible, but living Biblically.

    • Carey

      I love the ideas of over-informed while under-performing. Thanks!

  • Eric

    Part of the definition of maturity would be:

    Maturity = increasingly knowing and known fully by, the One Who knows us fully. I’m sure application (i.e., “Doing and saying what He does and says”) gets folded in there….

    • Carey

      True Eric. Thanks.

  • Andrew

    I was hoping you were talking about physical fitness! I suppose it fits in your broader topic of applying Scripture to life.

    Anyhow, keeping a journal helps me apply Scripture. I try to review the last few days of thoughts to keep it fresh in my mind. The discipline is hard-won and easily lost. Never be afraid to get back on the wagon!

    • Carey

      Good idea on journalling.

  • Sheez Carey, what do you think I am? A machine? I have 10 more blogs to read this morning and I haven’t even started on the podcasts and free ebooks piling up. I don’t have time to APPLY what I’m learning.

    • Carey

      Geoff…but clearly reading this blog was the best use of your time. 🙂 Five points toward application.

  • rob

    well said. passion?

    • Carey

      Rob…good thought. I wonder if passion increases as application increases? Interesting thought.