“Your knowledge is admirable, but it’s what you’re doing with it that I’m more interested in…”
“While knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church.” 1 Corinthians 8:1
Recently, I came upon a broadcast I wasn’t prepared for… an older woman was literally climbing over piles of stuff to make her way to a bed, which only had a very small area revealing a mattress. Shortly thereafter, I learned I was watching an episode of the series called “Hoarders”; a show that attempts to assist those dealing with a destructive disorder related to uncontrolled accumulation of things.
I cannot get the vision of what I saw out of my head… and it got me wondering… am I a hoarder? I mean, not in the traditional sense, but do I hoard knowledge? What do I do with all that knowledge? What is the fruit? Ever since leaving the armed services, I’ve been consumed with learning… always trying to pick up or master something new… it’s been a passion of mine for a host of reasons. If I am true to myself, I’d say that learning for me is more about security than anything else… to increase the probability of job security; to know I won’t be taken advantage of if I need the services of a mechanic or a plumber. And what about my faith… I’ve become obsessed with growing my faith by reading and listening to whatever and whenever I can about God and the lessons of Scripture. Great undertaking, but is the fruit of all this effort of accumulating knowledge, love?
So how does God see knowledge? I can imagine that while He sees knowledge as a good thing as He’s put so many things on this earth for us to discovery, I believe He’d be more concerned with what we do with the knowledge. Pastor Tony Evans, in one of his sermons on truth stated “truth without love is cold orthodoxy; love without truth is frivolous sentimentalism.” In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul expressed “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.” I believe there’s something very deep to be gleaned from these passages… that God is more interested in love, the fruit of our quest for truth through knowledge; that while knowledge is helpful in pursuing the Christian faith, knowledge needs to be seen as a means to an end and not the goal itself. Does our knowledge cause us to love more genuinely? Or, are we just hoarding knowledge for the sake of having it, just in case? (Ouch!)
To keep things in perspective, I am not advocating a boycott on learning! I believe God expects us to expand and grow our minds, as He will one day ask us what we’ve done with the gifts He’s provided to us! (Need a refresher? Check out Matthew 25:14-30; The Parable of the Talents.) But what are we doing with our knowledge? Consider the possibility that knowledge allows us to be more like Jesus… more self-less rather than self-ish. Knowledge serves us, the learner… love, on the other hand, the potential fruit of knowledge, serves others! And since the concept of love appears in the Bible between 300 and 500 times, depending on the translation, love must be precious to Him.
The rewards for greater knowledge are usually recognized here on earth alone, or, the real celebration can happen once we see Jesus face-to-face… it all depends on what we do with what we’re learning. So, what is the smarter goal? Knowing? or Loving??
Lord, help align my mind so the goal of what I learn is all about You… all about loving others! Amen!