Thursday Reflection – August 29, 2019
The knowledge of God leads to love
Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him. 1 Corinthians 8:2-3 NRSV.
Human knowledge is full of pride, but the knowledge of God is governed by love. In today’s doctrinal text, Paul speaks to the church in Corinth on the matter of food offered to idols. Those with knowledge know that idols are not real and God is the provider of everything; therefore nothing is wrong with eating food once sacrificed to idols. However, not everyone possess this knowledge and such action can lead other believers astray. So Paul concludes that, “if eating meat sacrificed to idols will cause believers around him to sin, then it is better not to eat meat sacrificed to idols”.
As I examine this text there are a couple of points that stand out for me.
- Human knowledge can lead to pride.
What do we do with the knowledge that we have? Paul, with his knowledge, understood that the eating of meat sacrificed to idols did not make him unclean. But he also knew that not everyone was able to grasp this knowledge. How did Paul react? Paul stated, “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” How many of us would react in that manner with the knowledge that we have? The New International Version interprets verse one in the following manner, “Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that “We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.”
The truth is that those with knowledge tend to think they know more and behave as such. When others are not able to meet their level of intellect or knowledge they tend to regard others as lower beings. In the process of regarding others as such those with knowledge become puff up and full of pride. A dangerous combination that does not reflect Jesus Christ.
- We’re guided by God’s love
The action of Paul not to eat meat if it lead others to sin is guided by love. Human knowledge cannot comprehend this action, because this action is not of human or this world. The ability to truly characterize love comes only from God. That is why Paul says, “but anyone who loves God is known by him.” Anyone who truly loves God will do the things of God and treat people as how God would treat them. Those who seek God and love God will be able to love others as God does. They will be able to put the need of others ahead of theirs, especially concerning non-essential matters.
We are guided by the actions of God through his son Jesus; we are guided by love.Such a powerful tool and agent of change. I invite us to read 1 Corinthians 13 and reflect on how we can truly demonstrate love.
We sometimes become so caught up in the behaviour of this world that we forget to show love. We become so caught up with what we don’t have forgetting that we can still show love with what we have.
We become so caught up with positions and titles that we forget that our birth certificates only carry our names. We could have all the knowledge in the world, but if we do not have love then it is meaningless, null and void. Only our relationship with God and people matters in the end.
Until next week allow the knowledge of God’s love to guide your every step.