Do you ever feel like you have to be right about everything?
The Christians in Corinth that Paul is writing letters to weren’t very nice sometimes. Because they believed that knowledge was the most important thing in the world, they forgot to be kind and loving to each other. All they cared about was being smarter, not nicer.
Back then people worshipped statues called idols. They built huge temples and put the idols in the center and animals would be offered as sacrifices to these idols. Then the meat from these animals would be sold in the market (like our grocery stores). Some of the Christians in Corinth understood that idols aren’t real and so they had no problem buying and eating the meat that had been sacrificed to idols. But many other Christians thought it was sinful to buy and eat this meat. They thought eating the meat was the same as worshipping the idol.
But here’s the real problem: These two groups of Christians weren’t being very kind to each other. Especially the Christians who would eat the meat. They claimed that they were smarter, and had more knowledge, and were more spiritual than the other non-meat eating Christians.
So here’s what Paul said to them:
1 Corinthians 8:1. Now concerning food offered to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.
Paul is reminding them (and us) that love is the most important thing. Not knowledge, or being smarter. Not winning arguments or even knowing your Bible better than others.
Knowing things is fine. But if knowing things makes you proud and selfish and less loving, then you have a real problem.
We live in a world where people just want to win arguments and prove that they are smarter than everyone else. And as you grow up it will get more and more tempting to love less and argue more. Many Christians even argue about what they think the Bible says.
But Jesus wants us to always put knowledge and love together. As Paul says “knowledge puffs up.” That means it just makes you proud. But “love builds up.” That means that love will always do what is best for others.”
The cross of Jesus was where knowledge and love met. On the cross we get all the knowledge about God that we need. We know his holiness, his goodness, his kindness, and his grace all from the cross. And at the cross we see the greatest love ever. A love so pure and free that it would die for its enemies. Sinners like you and me.
Because of Jesus we are known and loved by God.
With Jesus we can love more and argue less.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Here’s some good dancing music for you and the kids
Help me to always know that God knows me and loves me. And help me to not have to be right about everything, and instead to love others and learn from them.
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