Day 18 | 21-Day Growth Challenge | "Understanding; A Key to Success"

Thursday, September 16, 2010 Bryan Hudson 8 Comments


Proverbs 19:2 Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; haste makes mistakes.

Excitement is good, but not good enough. Ultimately, if you lack knowledge, your enthusiasm will appear to be little more than what former Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan famously called, "irrational exuberance." He coined this phrase to describe investors who were excited and trading, but did not fully understand the dynamics of what they were trading. Excitement can lead to overly quick decisions, which is the definition of being hasty. Enthusiasm fueled by a lack of knowledge is a very bad combination.

Proverbs 19:3 People ruin their lives by their own foolishness and then are angry at the Lord.

God often gets blamed for things that go wrong. It is human nature to deflect responsibility for mistakes onto others, including the Lord. When God knew that Adam had sinned, and called him to account, Adam's response was, "Lord, this woman you gave me, she made me eat the forbidden fruit." (Gen. 3:12). We know from the text  that Adam stood by and allowed his wife, and himself, to disobey God. This made him responsible because he had been given the charge to oversee the Garden of Eden.  In so many words, Adam's response was, "God you got a problem, or this woman has a problem, but I don't have a problem."

Proverbs 19:8 To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper.

Jesus clearly said that in order to love one's neighbor, one must love himself. (Mark 12:30) This is not a statement of conceit, but a healthy respect for who God created one to be.  We belong to God. We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus. When we understand that fact and embrace our responsibility to Almighty God, we will have an accurate view of what it means to love oneself.

One definition of understanding is to "know the meaning of a thing." Success and prosperity most certainly cannot come to people who do not understand who they are, or what they should be doing. As Proverbs 4:7 says, "In all your getting, get understanding."

Proverbs 19:14 Fathers can give their sons an inheritance of houses and wealth, but only the Lord can give an understanding wife.

This is an interesting verse. It seems to make the point that all of what one person can do for another pales in comparison to what God can do. This verse also highlights the importance of a marriage relationship, which can last for decades, over the often temporary state of material possessions.


"Lord, show me how to balance my excitement with gaining needed knowledge. Show me how to love myself without arrogance. In Jesus' Name. Amen!"

(Use comment section below to share your insights. Record sensitive items in your personal journal. You can login or simply use your first name.)
  1. What is the proper role of enthusiasm in our Christian lives?
  2. How do you define "understanding?"
  3. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?

Click on "Comments" to read others and add yours afterwards.


  1. 1)Enthusiasm serves as a catalyst to help get yourself motivated to get things done.

    2)"Understanding" is to know the reasoning of a thing.

  2. 1.) We should have enthusiasm while completing the works God has called us to do. When we have a passion for pleasing him, it helps us press through obstacles along the way.

    2.) One gains understanding not simply by memorization but by being deeply aquatinted with a subject, text or field. After having long studied, researched and received revelation knowledge form God, understanding is the end result.

    3.) I realize all the research I do before I make a purchase is a manifestation of wisdom in my life, not just a quirky habit.

  3. 1. What is the proper role of enthusiasm in our Christian lives?
    There should be some excitement in our walk with Christ, however you can't live on excitement alone. There will be times in life when you soar, but most of the time you have to just walk.

    2. How do you define "understanding?"
    Understanding has to do with comprehension, knowledge of something and reasoning behind the way something works.

    3. What actions will you take today related to this lesson?
    Today I will look for opportunities to gain understanding and work to have rational exuberance.

  4. 1. Enthusiasm about a matter is fine as long as it is tempered with a degree of caution, if not, it can cause one to behave rashly and produce unwanted results. Consider the person who goes and purchases his first car, which happens to be 25 years old. Due to his excitement, he refused to have a mechanic evaluate it to ensure it was worth the asking price, additionally, he would not go home and ponder the matter over night in order to take it before the Lord. Hence, the person had the car two days when a rod broke and cracked the engine block. These repairs proved too costly and the car was junked. Too much enthusiasm, as was the case in the previous example, will often trump sound judgment. Thus, it is imperative to cautiously weigh all situations and take them to the Lord in prayer.

    2. Understanding is how one perceives a matter.

    3. I will be more careful in my decision-making and take all matters before the Lord.

  5. 1. What is the proper roll of enthusiasm in or christian lives? We as christians should be enthusiastic when we see God at work changing situations around, and allowing us to participate in the process. We should be enthusiastic when God opens a door that was shut tight with no understanding of how get it open...Then God shows up and shows out, putting pieces together that stops you dead in your tracks with amazement.
    2. How do I define "understanding"? I define understanding as ..having information that is true and useful, then knowing how to apply it to get the desired results.
    3. Action taken: pray for truth and understanding when the path is not clear.

  6. 1.The proper role of enthusiasm in our Christian lives is that based on the intense desire that we can maintain in close relationship with the Lord, we are eager for the things of God and inspire others to take action in seeing that His will be done and his Kingdom come, in the earth as it is in heaven. His enthusiastic church will advance the message of salvation and will prosper in winning souls for Christ.
    2. I define understanding as becoming aware of the meaning or nature of something or someone. It is being able to think about and learn. Understanding creates an “I get it!” moment, causing one to be able to move from understanding to good sense and godly wisdom.
    3. The action I will take today is that in prayer I will talk with the Lord about my enthusiasm in regard to my relationship with Him.

  7. 1.What is the proper role of enthusiasm in our Christian lives.
    To have enthusiasm is to have something that will motivate/propel you into action.When God has put something in your heart to do you need to act.The phrase " What's my motivation" is used often when people want to know the reason for why they should do anything at all.
    The bible uses the word zeal in the same way we use enthusiasm. When I see a person full of zeal or motivation in the things of God, it encourages me to get about the business that God has given me,"Take it up a step'.
    2.I define understanding in this way. When you carry out the assignment that you know to do CORRECTLY from the knowledge you were given, you have understanding.
    3.I will ask The Lord for more zeal/enthusiasm to carry out the work he has put in my heart, with JOY.

  8. Joycell and Dennis IngramSeptember 18, 2010 at 11:51 PM

    1.What is the proper role of enthusiasm in our Christian lives?
    We must be enthusiastic about our faith walk in order to please God and influence others to want to know to know Him. A truely enthusiastic person is influential.

    2.How do you define "understanding?"
    Understanding comes only when we search a matter out, and ponder the meaning. As we study the word of God to show our selves approved by God; we obtain understanding through His word and his people as they serve Him. Also understanding comes by hearing, obeying and doing exactly what the word of God tells us to do in every situation in life.

    3.What actions will you take today related to this lesson?
    We will continually obey God's will with enthusiasm, by displaying joy, peace, and happiness as we Serve; with the right spirit as our hearts desire is to please God.