In 1 Corinthians 8:1 Paul says that “knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.“
Knowledge can give us some divine attributes which in themselves are not bad since we are to be like God. However, depending on our attitude knowledge can make us feel prideful and ahead of others. So some of us would choose to know more so that we can be liked more, or so that we can be better than others. That is the wrong reaction to God’s gift revealed through knowledge.
Solomon was known for his wisdom. But in one moment of his life, Solomon received specific instructions from God but disobeyed and trusted his own wisdom and knowledge to get the job done. Samuel called this disobedience idolatry. For Solomon perceived his wisdom to be greater than God’s and by doing so putting his wisdom and self above God = idolatry.
Knowledge is great. It’s a gift from God and we should continue to gain it so that we can serve our Lord better.
A couple of verses later (8:3), Paul shares with the Corinthians that having knowledge is not greater than being known by God. And one could only achieve this through love. And that’s why knowledge can serve as the PUFF daddy because it does puff one up. But love toward others will only build others up when your knowledge can cause others to sin and be drawn away from God.
This makes causes me to think of the last verses of the Sermon on the Mount when Jesus talks about those who serve Him but He never knows them. And they say, “but Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name did we not cast out demons?” And Jesus replies, “I never knew you. Get away from me.”
My thought incarnate:
What matters most? your knowledge or God’s knowledge of you?
Comment from the Guru – Chrysostom
“We do not know God but he knows us. This is why Christ said: “You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” (Jn 15:16). This the fruit of love and the death of pride.”
I’m challenging each day to be known by God. It’s amazing how I am so worried about doing the things of God as a pastor, reading the Bible daily, singing the right songs, living a holy lifestyle. And right now, as I reflect on these verses, I stop and ask myself, “is it all for nothing?” And I guess the answer is yes. We can memorize as many verses of Scripture as we want, read as many Christian books as we want, and etc. But none of these things will allow us to be known by God unless we open our hearts to let Him in, to let God be a part of our thoughts, decisions, routine, and conversations.
Invite God into your day. He wants to know you. Open your heart, as I’m even more convinced that I need to open mine.