What is Application? Part 2
The following is the information with notes in [brackets] from the description in the front of the Life Application Bible on the concept of ‘application’. The notes in [brackets] are my comments on ‘application’ as it relates to the principles of personal finance and the resources that are intended to provide financial knowledge and understanding. The introduction to this summary is described further in Part 1 of this article.
“The best way to define application is the first determine what it is not. Application is not just accumulating knowledge. This helps us discover and understand facts and concepts, but it stops there. History is filled with philosophers who knew what the Bible said, but failed to apply it to their own lives, keeping them from believing and changing. [Today there are many financial experts who know the technical aspects of finance, but fail to apply it to their lives, keeping them from believing and changing.] Many think that understanding is the end goal of Bible study, but it is really only the beginning. [Many think that understanding of financial concepts is the end goal, but it is really only the beginning.]
Application is not just illustration. Illustration only tells us how someone else handled a similar situation. While we may empathize with that person, we still have little direction for our personal situation. [This is why following the advice of a guru who essentially says, “look at me, I’m rich, you can be rich too if you do what I’ve done” isn’t a good idea.]
Application is not just making a passage ‘relevant’. […Like making a financial concept relevant to the product being sold.] Making the Bible relevant only helps us to see that the same lessons that were true in Bible times are true today. It does not show us how to apply them to the problems and pressures of our individual lives. [This same concept in finance occurs when someone essentially says, ‘Look at me, I’m rich. Do what I’ve done and you can be rich too.” It helps you see that the same lessons the ‘rich person’ is sharing can be relevant today, but it doesn’t show you how to apply them to the problems and pressures of your individual lives.]
What then is application? Application begins by knowing and understanding God’s Word and its timeless truths. [Application begins by knowing and understanding the universal financial concepts such as math, terminology, economics, market behaviour, financial statement analysis, etc.] But you cannot stop there. If you do, God’s word may not change your life, and it may become dull, difficult, tedious, and tiring. [If you do, financial knowledge may not change your life, and it may become dull, difficult, tedious, and tiring…hmmm]. A good application focuses the truth of God’s word [of the underlying financial basics] to show the reader [or listener] what to do with what is being read [or delivered] and motivates the reader [or listener] to respond to what God is teaching [what is being taught]. All three are essential to application.
Application is putting into practice what we already know and answering the question, ‘so what?’ by confronting us with the right questions and motivating us to take action. Application is deeply personal – uniqure for each individual. It is making a relevant truth a personal truth, and involves developing a strategy and action plan to live your life in harmony with the Bible [the underlying financial principles]. It is the biblical ‘how to’ of life. [It (application) is the ‘how to’ of financial management].
You may ask, ‘how can your application notes [MoneyMinding methodology and resources] be relevant to my life?’ Each application note [resource] has 3 parts: 1) an explanation that ties the note directly to the scripture passage and sets up the truth that is being taught. [an explanation that ties the lesson directly to the underlying financial concept.] 2) the bridge that explains the timeless truth [universal principle] and makes it relevant for today. 3) the application that shows you how to take the timeless truth [universal principle] and apply it to your personal situation. No note by itself can apply scripture [no lesson by itself can apply the principle] directly to your life. It can only teach, direct, lead, guide, inspire, recommend, and urge. It can give you the resources and direction you need to apply the Bible [knowledge]; but only you can take these resources and put them into practice.
A good note [financial resource], therefore, should not only give you knowledge and understanding, but point you to application. Before you buy any kind of resource (Bible), you should evaluate the notes and ask the following questions: 1) Does the note [resource] contain enough information to help me understand the point of the scripture passage [information delivered]? 2) Does the note [resource] assume I know too much? 3) Does the note avoid denominational bias [product or strategy bias]? 4) Do the notes [resources] touch most of life’s experiences [or are they available in other resources available]? 5) Does the note [resource] help me apply God’s word [the information] to my own life?”