Daily Bible Reading – Joshua 15-17; 1 Corinthians 8
Today’s Key Passage – 1 Corinthians 8:1-3
I heard a piece of tongue-in-cheek marital advice the other day, and it went something like this: “When you are wrong, confess it to your spouse immediately. When you are right, do not say a word.” I thought about that advice today as I read Paul’s remarks to the church in Corinth. In our key passage today, Paul says, “We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God.” (1 Corinthians 8:1-3) Paul is giving the Corinthians similar advice to the humorous marital advice above – no one likes a no-it-all. Do not get me wrong here; we all know that knowledge is a good thing. The more we learn about a particular topic, the better off we are, at least up to a point. What Paul is talking about is what I like to refer to as dangerous knowledge.
So, what makes knowledge dangerous? In our key passage, Paul says that knowledge “puffs up”. When you hear that term, what kind of a person do you picture? I picture a proud man – a man who thinks he knows it all. I picture a man who believes he is right almost 100% of the time, and is not afraid to tell you about it. I picture a man who believes being right is more important than being compassionate and loving. In the interest of honesty, I have to admit at this point that I have struggled with this issue (as the people closest to me can attest). I have felt this compulsive need to be right for as long as I can remember, and there are still times when I am acting in the flesh when this comes out of me. It is something that God continues to work on in me, and I know that eventually He will rid me of it completely. See, the issue here is really an issue of pride, and this pride is what makes knowledge dangerous. When you get to the point where being right is more important than compassion, you have entered dangerous territory. When you resist any kind of correction, you have entered dangerous territory. When you have intolerance for opposing views, you have entered dangerous territory. Dangerous knowledge can be toxic, both to yourself and to the people around you. If left unchecked, this dangerous knowledge can lead to a condition where you stop putting your faith in God to provide for your needs. When you wrongly believe that YOU can control your own destiny, you have definitely entered into VERY dangerous territory.
With all of that being said, what is the answer? How can we ensure that our knowledge does not turn into dangerous knowledge? The first step comes in understanding the sovereignty of God. When you realize that He is control of everything and that He is the only one who is always right, you can start to escape the snare of dangerous knowledge and pride. The second step is putting our focus on the life and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Compared to Jesus, who among us can claim to be perfect? Who among us can claim to be right? Christ came to this earth and lived a perfect life, and then died on a cross because of our sinfulness. When we begin to exalt Him instead of ourselves, we can begin to get out of the danger zone. Finally, the last step is love. When we realize that God loves us unconditionally regardless of what we do, we can in turn begin to love others in this same way. When you love another person unconditionally, you will want to build them up with that love instead of “puffing up” yourself. At that point, being right loses all importance.
The next time you feel the overwhelming need to be right; I hope you will remember today’s key passage. I hope that, like me, you will stop and remind yourself of Paul’s words. Aside from that, if all else fails – when you are right, do not say a word.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on March 23, 2015, in 07 - 1 Corinthians and tagged Bible, Bible Study, Christian, Corinth, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, First Epistle to the Corinthians, God, Godly Living, Humility, Jesus, Love, Religion, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.