Is Your Faith More Intellectual, Emotional, or Practical?

At The Collaborative we are always talking about connections and how to remind ourselves and help others to better understand the relationship that ought to exist between our faith and our work. Another way to consider this is how do we deepen our comprehension of knowing, feeling, and doing. This week's post is an article by Art Lindsley that I would wholeheartedly commend to you. He does a great job in making connections. I am not going to explain any further for the fear of detracting from the article. So for now, HAPPY READING!


Some of us may be guilty of knowing a lot about God and even having moments of intense emotion in our faith, but ultimately failing to put what we know into practice.

As I’ve discussed in previous posts, one problem in the modern and post-modern world, including the church, is the failure to see the connection between what we do, what we think, and what we feel. In other words, we don’t understand the relationship between knowing, feeling, and doing. Thus, we fail to manifest wise, passionate practice that would demonstrate to the world the truth we profess.

After focusing on the importance of knowing (study) and feeling (piety), I’d like to turn today to focus on doing (ministry).

How Knowing and Feeling Should Lead to Doing

There is a sense in which we can say that knowing leads to feeling, which leads to doing. We know what is true, feel passionate about it, and thus are motivated to act. An old poem by Philip James Bailey says:

We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial…
He lives most Who thinks most, feels the noblest, and acts the best.

This is true especially when we think most about the One who is most worthy, feel consumed by worship for him, and act according to his will.

In John 13:17, we see the three mentioned together: “Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” Romans 6:17 mentions them in reverse order: “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.”

In Romans 12:1, you have a summary of Romans up to that point and the foundation on which later ethical sections are laid: “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

The doctrines developed in the first eleven chapters of Romans (the mercies of God) ought necessarily to lead you to the conclusion (therefore) of wholesale commitment to our Lord. In fact, it is the only logical conclusion, the only adequate response (your reasonable service). The ethics of the latter chapters of Romans (12ff) are based on the doctrines of the former chapters (1-11). Knowing provides a basis for doing.

Our thanks to the photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash

Art Lindsley