In life, humans seem to struggle with the middle of the pendulum swing. What I mean is that we tend to lean toward the left or right extreme of the pendulum swing. Too often balance is delicate and fleeting.
Like faith and works (see James), head knowledge and behavior are perfect examples of this pendulum in our efforts of disciple-making. An extreme of either to the exclusion or ignorance of the other produces problems. For instance, knowing without doing is sin. And doing without knowing is risky at least and potentially sinful. This is important area of assessment in our own lives and those we are discipling.
How do we balance these two? Love. Abiding in the love of Jesus. Loving God, others, and self. Without love we are destined to lean toward head knowledge or behavior. Love appears to be what the Pharisees were lacking. Jesus said in John 15:10a,
If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love…
To “keep” means we both know and are doing them. To do His commands for the right reason is to know and love the One who is commanding them. That is a continual invitation for us as disciplers and those we disciple to spend daily time in the Word and prayer for relationship (love) with Him.
We fail when we are only seeking to know more or practice spiritual habits. Either extreme comes up empty without seeking Him first. And relationship with Him will naturally desire to know more and to live out that knowledge. Focus yourself and your disciple(s) on love–especially when there is a leaning toward head knowledge or behavior.
For more ideas about disciple-making, check out these blog posts: