Tuesday, October 19, 2010
It's Not What You Know...
Says Mark Roberts in a devotional on I Cor. 8:1:
Paul is not saying that all knowledge is bad or that we should try to have right knowledge. Rather, he is pointing to a problem with knowledge, or, perhaps more accurately, a problem with those who claim to have it. One who has knowledge can feel overly self-important. Knowledge can make one "puffed up," to translate the Greek of verse 1 more literally (gnosis phusioi). If I think I know something important, and especially if I think I know something that you don't know, then I might get a big head and start thinking that I am better than you.I know a lot of very smart people - they seem to think I am one of them, but I will leave it up to you to decide. One thing I have learned over the years is that the thing smart people know most, is what they do not know. See that;s the thing about "knowledge" - there is always more of it to be had, not to mention there is always someone that has more than you.
Knowledge, by itself, is inadequate. Something else is needed if we are going to have and use knowledge appropriately, and that something else is love. Whereas knowledge puffs up, "love builds up" (8:1, agape oikodomei). Knowledge can be a powerful tool in God's service, but it will only be wielded wisely if the one who knows is first and foremost one who loves.
Those facts say, in part, that we can never derive as much power from it as we think we can. "There is always a bigger fish" as the story goes.
But the thing is this - while there certainly are people that love better than me, the nature of love is that it does not seek to dominate - it seeks to serve.
SO ask yourself this the next time you read a book or learn something in Sunday School, "How can I use this to help someone else?" and "How can I do so in a fashion that does not draw attention to myself?"