“Next is your question about eating food that has been sacrificed to idols. On this question, everyone feels that only his answer is the right one! But although being a “know-it-all” makes us feel important, what is really needed to build the church is love.” – 1 Corinthians 8:1 (TLB).
A young boy walked down the beach with a t-shirt that said: “General Know It All.” Obviously, the parents were making a not-too-subtle statement that their son thinks he knows everything, We have all met people who have an opinion on everything and think their opinion is right.
Who doesn’t want to be knowledgeable about politics, sports, global events, human interest stories, social media, travel, history, and religion to name a few? We comment even though we only “know enough to be dangerous”. 1 Corinthians 8:1 (TLB) says, “although being a “know-it-all” makes us feel important, what is really needed to build the church is love.”
Knowledge is needed, even necessary. There are very few people in the world who would not like to have more wisdom. Wisdom relates to using knowledge for sound intelligent and sturdy decision-making. Some people may want wisdom when it comes to their finances. Other people desire wisdom for their relationships. Still others may want wisdom when it comes to making future plans. As Christians, it is important we learn how to apply Godly wisdom to all areas of our lives.
Paul imagines a person who “…can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge….” (1 Corinthians 13:2) What a great help that would be for people puzzled by some parts of the Bible: those places where God has only given us a limited amount of information and left us with a certain degree of mystery. No question would be left unanswered. No mystery would go unexplained. Paul then talks about a faith that could move mountains. Such a person could start churches and missionary movements. They could birth soup kitchens and housing shelters. They could end racism in their city. They could make such a difference. Yet, Paul says, without love, their stunning gifts would amount to nothing.
What is Paul saying here? Even if we give generously all that we have (whether it is money, time, or our comfort), it is neither noble nor an act of worship if done without love. Is love the reason you spend time with your friends? Is love the reason you read your Bible and worship? Is love the reason you work? It all starts and ends with love for God and others.
Love is the one and only thing that shows we believe in Jesus. He says we will be known by our love. It’s what demonstrates that we have been changed and that we reflect His nature. Love is what God gives to us every moment. Love is what distinguishes us as His children. Not astonishing deeds, not vast knowledge, nor even the ability to reveal God’s word and message to others. But love. For all the other things we might accomplish, without love we are nothing.
- How important is knowledge in your life? How can knowledge help or hinder your walk with God?
- How would you explain the difference between love that is from God and love that is based on human understanding?