“Knowledge is power.” But what if it’s not? Or, what if the power we think we find in it, is not what does anyone, or us, any good? Knowledge is held over people, inflating many with pride and arrogance. Suddenly, we think we know best or know more. Wisdom, conviction, and love should always trump knowledge.
Without wisdom, knowledge is useless. Without conviction, love means nothing. And without love, we do not live. And when trials of live come such as: a death, upsets between friends, moral questions and fits between people, we cannot turn to a baseless place of pointing fingers.
A New Revaltion
Our church offers a wonderful women’s bible study in the afternoon and recently, we hit a verse in our searching of the pages that stopped me. It basically started the wheels turning. That verse was 1 Corinthians 8:1. In this snippet we read these words:
“We all possess knowledge.” But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
Believers had been warring in feelings on certain moral convictions they had of eating or not eating certain food. This verse was to calm each side who held to their beliefs with an iron fist. (Now, we must remember the issue at hand was not over a sin or a belief that the Bible is clear on. We must in fact, stay unwavering over convictions laid out to us through the Bible and God.)
But upon looking at the verse over and over, the word “puff” kept standing out like a sore thumb. It made me think of the way a puffer fish is. They look all cute and innocent. Then, they feel threatened and suddenly…boom…they puff up into this huge mass.
…knowledge puffs up while love builds up.
Being Defensive Does Not Pull People Close
We are supposed to be loving to one another as believers and we should offer comfort, joy, support, and hope when it is required of us and needed. To build the body of believers, we have to be loving. And to do that we have to be understanding. Understanding each other and listening is so important for our lives and walk with Christ. But yet, many of us become “puffed” up so quick at people or things said to us.
When a puffer fish is attacked or becomes threatened, it puffs up. It does this by taking in water to increase its size. It’s inside organs flatten, the spikes go out, and stress is induced for the fish. The puffer is not attacking but is defending itself.
Some people hide behind their own spikes of knowledge. We sometimes are so quick to say our opinion or pass over someones concern or struggle. Or if their convictions are not ours, we puff ourselves up and get loud. So much like the puffer fish.
Our natural defense is to hide behind our knowledge or our “level of goodness”. Like, “Oh, I can’t believe you do that. I simply cannot stand blah, blah, blah.” And it never fails that we cause the other person to feel less than. Our spikes come out and our so called knowledge ends up pushing people away.
We have to pull people close by offering a listening ear and love when they need it. We cannot always be on the lookout for opportunities to show others up in our level of godliness. Everyone has a different path with their walk.
Without Wisdom We Kill Ourselves
So yes, be loving and listen. But how to we share our knowledge and help other believers? Wisdom. And listening to the Holy Spirit. He will let us know when we need to listen, speak, or act on something someone says or does. When we rely on ourselves to do that and let our own human arrogance speak instead of the Holy Spirit, we kill our own accountability and fail.
We must pray and seek God so that we are strong in our own convictions before we go and attempt to help someone else. Or we may end up talked around in circles, deceived, or not helpful for the other person. We kill the mission before it starts.
After a puffer fish, well, puffs, so much stress is inflicted upon it that sometimes they die. Their defense mechanism kills them. What they thought would help them or save them, is the cause of their death. (Want to know more about this? Read it here.)
Knowledge can look good. It is, in itself, good. But if it becomes mixed with pride and arrogance against the Spirit and others, it becomes a method of destruction. Instead of poking at people, we have to walk in love and wisdom.