To Know More is To Love More
Last Saturday, I was with my friends and we were discussing theology. In the course of the discussion, a friend shared an experience about her encounter with a certain person. This person was knowledgeable about the Bible and of theology. However, this man was arrogant. Then my friend told a wonderful statement to the proud man. I agree with her, and I will phrase it this way: The Christian life is not measured by the amount of knowledge we possess, but by the way we live it.
Indeed, “‘knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). And the passage exhorts us to use our knowledge in humility and to love others. Truly, our knowledge should be used to build others up.
When I reflected deeper on this, I asked myself, “What is the connection between knowledge and love?” It seems unrelated to me. But I thank the Lord giving me a wonderful thought.
I first had to ask, “Why do people want to increase their knowledge?” A simple answer would be the desire to also increase their understanding. If we don’t understand something, we look for knowledge. And once we acquire that knowledge, our understanding increases.
For Christians, this understanding is a right understanding of God and of ourselves. When we understand that God is holy, and just, and loving, we can’t afford to be proud. When we understand that we are sinners and have fallen short of a holy God and we deserved to be punished, but still He has saved us by His grace, we also can’t afford to be proud. Furthermore, when we understand that we are graced and loved by God, we can’t help but show grace and love to the people around us. I hope you get the connection by now.
Here’s my point. Our knowledge should lead us to more (or better) understanding. (Take note of the word should. Sadly, knowledge could also make one proud and consequently indifferent). And this understanding should increase our capacity to love others.
Again, knowledge should lead to understanding, and this understanding should make us into loving people. In short, to know more (or better) is to love more (or better).
Christians always increase in knowledge. They read the Bible daily, join Bible studies, listen to sermons, read books on the Christian life and theology, etc. So I don’t believe that for the Christian, knowledge is unimportant. Nor I am saying that it is primary in the Christian life.
My prayer is that as we increase in knowledge, we would also increase in understanding rather than in pride, and we would become more loving towards others.