"It's not what you know it's who you know." Have you ever used this quote? Have you ever heard this quote? Likely you have. It seems some folks can only find their significance by impressing others with who they know. I remember years ago that an acquaintance of my mother came by our house. She wasn't there long before she informed one and all, multiple times, that she was the president of the Waylon Jennings fan club, and she was a personal friend of Waylon. She even had a whole photo album to prove the premise. I must confess, at that time, I didn't know who Waylon Jennings was (This was before he and Willie Nelson went to Luckenbach, Texas) and was rather unimpressed with her "name-dropping." It seems that in our celebrity-soaked culture that we cannot resist letting others know who we know. Would it impress you to know that I was once almost close to Ronald Reagan? True there was a few bystanders, a 6 foot chain-link fence and a mob of reporters between me and him, as he made a brief airport speech -- but I was close! Perhaps you have a story to tell me of a close encounter you have had with some "big-name" person.
While throwing around the names of a few famous folks may me harmless, there can be a more sinister side to name-dropping. It can be used for unfair advancement of one's career or to escape the consequences of our own actions. It can be used to gain access and privilege. The injustice of this kind of name-dropping is that rather than being seen for who we are and judged according to our abilities, the name-dropper is seen as special because of who he or she knows.
There is one exception to the rule. There is one instance where who we know is better than what we know. That is; knowing God. For in knowing Him in a personal way one is radically changed (cf. II Corinthians 5:17). Not only are we changed we move from spiritual death to eternal life. We have the guilt of our sins removed and we can enjoy the privilege of knowing the supreme person, God Himself. There is one obstacle to be overcome in order for us to know God, and that is sin. Jesus Christ in His death on the cross paid the penalty for our sin and through our faith in Him we can enter into an eternal relationship with God. If you do not know God, it is as simple as following Paul's instruction in Acts 16:31 "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved."
If you do know God, then it is your duty to seek to know your God in a deeper, ever-growing way. In fact, this should be our ultimate desire. Again the Apostle Paul is our example. He expressed his desire with these words: "That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;" (Philippians 3:10) . Knowing God is the highest knowledge one can have and the highest privilege to which one can attain.
Where does one begin to know God better? One vital ingredient is to be part of local church where the Word of God is the focus of all teaching and preaching. Over the next couple of months I will be sharing from God's Word what is revealed about the nature, person and attributes of God. You are invited to come along on the journey every Sunday. Secondly, knowing God is a personal endeavor. Each child of God must devote himself to a personal study of the Scriptures, as well as a vital prayer life. He must discipline his mind to think deeply and often of God. To contemplate God role in the cosmos as well as His role in your life. In this pursuit one will find genuine joy (Psalm 16:11).
While it may sound strange in casual conversation; what greater name to drop than to be able to say with sincerity that you personally know God.
Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
©1997 Calvary Baptist Church
Back to Main Page
To read some past columns click below
"My Movie Camera"
"Giant Rat-Eating Frogs"
"Ol Man River"
To View Complete Archive