formation vs. information

What’s the difference between information and formation?

Information gives us control.  We access information, we gain information… and information gives us power.  Information gives us control.  The more information we have, the less controlled by the unknown we are.  And so it is that we sadly open the Bible for information.  We want to be informed about God, informed about life, informed about faith, informed about a decision, informed about parenting, informed about work, informed about ______?_______.

We are arrogant to assume that we could ever be fully informed about these things.  Our first attitude, when approaching the Bible, should not be to access information.  The Bible is not laid out as an instruction manual.  Within its pages, the Bible certainly contains some great information.  But the Word of God is more about our formation as people.  The Bible exists so that we could be shaped and molded and sculpted by the Spirit as we seek after God and strive to follow Jesus.  God, and our life of faith, for that matter, is so far beyond the gaining of information.  No wisdom comes from information.  Wisdom comes from immersing ourselves in the mystery of God, seeking to be formed by the One who is beyond our understanding.  In fact, the Bible says that true knowledge begins when we fear the Lord (Proverbs 1:7).

Stop seeking to be merely informed.  Permit, today, God’s Word to form you.  As we open the pages of the Bible, seek God’s shaping presence in your life.

For more formation on this meditate on Job 11:7-9, Prov 3:5-7, Eph 6:19, Phil 4:6-7, Col 2:2-3, Col 2:6-7, Eph 3:19-20, and Isa 40:28.

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