Lecture: 'Unity of Inner Knowledge and Action' Is Wisdom in the Bible

A picture shows a man with a bag and a book.
A picture shows a man with a bag and a book. (photo: pixabay.com)
By Esther TianOctober 19th, 2022

"The unity of inner knowledge and action" is regarded as a motto by many people, but in reality, too many people fail to mate their words with deeds. So do many Christians: having heard the truth, they do not necessarily practice it.

Recently, Mr. Li Xiaobo share his tips on the theme of "Wisdom of Unity of Inner Knowledge and Action" on the "Born by Love" platform again after giving two lectures on sharing wealth and how to face compromises of workplace ethics.

Appointed as the managing director of Hong Kong EBS Business System Co., Ltd. and the Shenzhen SVT Soft Valley Technology Co., Ltd., Mr. Li has served as the director of FEC South China, a well-known listed company in Taiwan, and the director of China at GBM Business System Co., Ltd. in Hong Kong.

According to Mr. Li, the Ming Dynasty thinker Wang Yangming put forward the theory of "unity of inner knowledge and action". Inner knowledge includes faith, morality, and spirituality more than "knowledge" from books but includes the inner moral, faith, and conscience. The unity of inner knowledge and action means that the truth of things and their implementation are inseparable. Action is more important than inner knowledge.

Jesus pointed out the follower's question, "Why do you say to me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

He added that the disunity of inner knowledge and action comes from the sinful nature of man. Media from home and abroad often reports jerry-built projects. The speaker urged Christians to reflect on such situations when we heard a great deal of truth, but do not practice them. 

Mr. Li said that modern people do not lack knowledge or opportunities, but the patience and courage for knowledge transformation. Without practice, theory becomes a hindrance to making you procrastinate and unable to achieve success.

Do not deceive yourself

As one of the leading apostles in Jerusalem in the early church period, James said, "But be doers of the word, and not only hearers of it, blinding yourselves with false ideas." The words of the Lord are precious, and it is in the practice of life that you can truly receive them. This is the unity of inner knowledge and action.

There is a professor and his team of researchers from an Ivy League university who studied leadership. They spent six years interviewing 51 companies that had gone from peak to decline. After more than 500 interviews, he found that the CEO failures of these 51 companies were similar in many ways, including two common mistakes for Christians:

Mistake #1: Only the CEO can make decisions.

These failed CEOs thought they knew their businesses and the market competition at present and in the future. Successful companies could not make decisions on their own. As the information age develops too fast, decisions must rely on think tanks. The same is true of the development of churches. If only the pastor has the final say in the church, the church may be stuck in a bottleneck or even stop developing altogether. God has placed not only the church building in the hearts of the pastors but also each ministry in the hearts of the co-workers. For example, pastors may be good at pastoring, but co-workers may be good at caring, praying, and leading fellowship activities. Therefore, pastors should listen to their co-workers' suggestions with a broader mind.

Mistake #2: Underestimate the severity of hindrances.

If the challenges are underestimated, there is no way to respond when the challenge comes. The Internet age is constantly changing, and many century-old companies fail instantly because they do not properly evaluate and respond to the times. So does faith. With no solid foundation, or underestimating temptation, believers are likely to be unable to resist sin and temptation when it comes.

Attitude is important, as it includes conscience and moral values

Kazuo Inamori, a famous deceased Japanese entrepreneur, advocated that work is an act that reflects the value of life. He shared a formula: achievement = ability × effort × attitude.

Everyone can have the ability and effort, but not everyone has the right attitude. The right attitude includes conscience and moral values.

There are more challenges for Christians to live and work in the world, so be alert, because if you are not careful, you will be dragged into the net of sin. Only with the inspiration of God's words in the Bible, the church and the fellowship could keep the good character that God has given us.

Keep the faith

Andrew Carnegie said people do not fail because there is no faith, but because they cannot put faith into action, and stick to the end. The Jews are considered to be an intelligent people that are most capable of doing business. There is a saying among them that one cannot use too much of these three things in life: too much yeast (sour), too much salt (salty), and too much hesitation (loss of many opportunities).

When Christians face secular values in the workplace, they often feel that they cannot go anywhere without worldly experiences, such as pulling some strings, giving red envelopes, drinking, and socializing. Mr. Li emphasized that we should pray and trust God, just concentrate on what we should do, and leave the result in God's hands. Even if we do not win the bid, we still believe that God has a good will and a good plan.

- Translated by Oliver Zuo 

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