Have you heard the expression, “You are too smart for your own good”? The idea being, one is too smart for his or her chosen field of endeavour. I recently read of a professional football player who was a Rhodes Scholar. This particular player chose to study at Oxford instead of accepting a scholarship to play at University. I have been thinking about that in relationship to our spiritual walk.
The Apostle Paul says it like this, “Knowledge puffs up but love builds up.” I think what Paul was saying is that the smarter we think we are the more important we think we are. But in God’s hierarchy, knowledge that is not applied to life is a lesson that is still unlearned. We never impress God by telling him all that we know about theology, bibliology, psychology, anthropology and whatever other ‘ology’ you care to mention.
What does impress God is that as we learn His word we stay humble and continue to serve Him and His body. There is a lot of history to learn when it comes to studying the Bible and that is good to learn. There is a lot of theology to learn when it comes to studying the Bible, so much that at times it makes your head spin! But it is never learned apart from applying God’s Word to one’s life. God is not impressed by how much we know about Him and His word. What He wants to know is, are we living in accordance with what we know?
What a wonderful resource God has given to us through His word! I am in awe at how God so directed the lives of the authors of the Bible to record what He desired so that we could get to know Him! God’s goal was not to make us smarter it was to make us more like Himself! Now, that is not to say that we should not study (my Bible College profs will be glad to hear that!), in fact, we should be students of the word. We should learn as much about the Word as we can. But it is never so that we can pat ourselves on the back and say, “Man, am I ever intelligent!” Never was that God’s intention.
God’s intention was so that you and I could enter into a relationship through His revelation of Himself. Our knowledge of Him, that He is a holy God who created us in His image, who planned since the foundation of the world to rescue man through sending His One and only Son to be our substitute to pay for our sin, and to be raised the third day and be seated at His right hand and then come again to once and for all usher in His everlasting kingdom, is a knowledge that every person on the planet needs to have. We have been charged with the task of sowing the seed of the gospel in the hearts of those who have yet to know Him personally. We are to share our knowledge with them.
Here is the catch, to share that knowledge with them we must share His love at the same time. If it was as simple as telling them what we know so that they could know it as well, that would be relatively easy. But we are called to share His love through our love for them. Love is what builds up, love is what makes the difference. I share with others about what the Lord has done in my life out of love not out of a sense of obligation.
This has tremendous implications in how we share our faith. We should never berate people to know the Lord, but we should kindly show them how much God loves them. Love builds up. Love according to the knowledge we have experienced in our own relationship with God revealed to us through the pages of the Word of God.
What a privilege we have been given to know Him, to love Him and to share that Word with the people around us! May we be found faithful in doing and being all He has called us to do and be!