Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up
In 1 Corinthians 8, Paul is responding to the question about eating food sacrificed to idols. The response given is guidance believers should use in representing Christ in life. The believers in Corinth makes a statement “we all have knowledge.”
While knowledge in the service of others can be good, people who use their knowledge to establish their superiority over other people should expect to experience a good result. They are likely to have a higher opinion of themselves that does nothing to help anyone. Puffed up can sometimes be translated as arrogant. Paul believes this is a problem in Corinth. I encourage everyone to look in the mirror and ask God about how we are using our knowledge. Also, ask God do I know about you or do I know you.
Paul continues while knowledge puffs up, “love builds up” or blesses—blesses both the one who loves and the one who is loved. Given a choice between knowledge and love, we would do far better to choose love. If we are blessed with knowledge, we need to mix it generously with love before putting it on display. We all are in different places in life and in our relationship with God, through Jesus Christ guided by the Holy Spirit. We share God and the love of God by meeting people where they are in life.
A parent went to the teacher of her child. The child respected the teacher. The parent asked the teacher to help by talking to the child about eating healthy food and less sugary food. The teacher said come back in a week. The parents did. The teacher responded by saying come back in another week. The parent was frustrated by what the teacher suggested. When the parent came back the teacher did what the parent asked. The teacher talked to the child about eating healthier food and less sugary food. Afterwards the parent wanted to know why the teacher waited two weeks. The teacher responded by saying I did not know how hard it was to give up sugary food.
Let us walk with people in love. We all have a faith journey to walk and we are all walking at a different pace.
Calvin Griffin- Pastor of Singleton and Mount Zion UMC Gloucester, Virginia