Monday, December 29, 2014

love trumps knowledge

If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.
1 Corinthians 8:2-3

When it comes to most of the day to day experience of the Christian lifestyle, love trumps knowledge. If I am a Christian who truly loves God, the knowledge that I need will come as I love Him, pay attention to following His Word, obey His Spirit's leading, and follow my Savior in loving commitment. But most of my Christian "knowledge" has been reduced to rote learning. And that is not spiritually healthy. It is the worst way to see successful Christianity. It is a failure to really follow.

There is a need to know doctrine, but never outside of loving God first and foremost. The results of such a commitment seem impressive (see the Pharisees for the results), but love for God and for my neighbor is all the knowledge that I need (according to Jesus Himself) to see my world changed by Christ's kingdom. All the rest of doctrine is important detail... but knowledge is not the main focus of Christianity. Love is. Knowledge should never replace relationship.

So my entire life ministry and vocation has centered around "Christian Education" - a phrase found absolutely no where in scripture. I have used this term as shorthand for discipleship. I have used it to describe ministry training. But really it is a term that is knowledge based and might lack the "love commitment" that Paul encourages the Corinthians to pursue as supreme. It is better to minister to the heart while engaging the mind. If the container of knowledge is filled and the heart knows no love of God, our education has failed to be Christian.

I humbly ask for Your mercy to extend to me as I seek to show love with my knowledge of You. I want more than facts or mental assent. I want to love You because I know and see You. And most importantly, I want to help show Your people that to love You is to be in obedient relationship with You.

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