Puffed Up or Built Up?

Puffed Up or Built Up?

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Food offered to idols presented a major problem for first-century Christians. To settle the matter, church leaders decided on one firm rule: Gentiles should abstain from the things polluted by idols (Acts 15:20). This was essential in order to be good witnesses, and to live in ways that were pleasing to God. But Paul felt that a deeper issue was involved: knowledge.

Some Christians seemed to act as if they were especially important because of the things they knew. Yet Paul stressed that everyone has some kind of unique knowledge, tempting them to rely on themselves and their special insights. Such knowledge was potentially dangerous, leading to pride and a feeling of superiority.

This smug attitude about our knowledge can be crippling to Christians. But there’s an antidote: love! While knowledge can cause us to become proud, love always builds up. The Greek word refers to a person who builds a house. While those motivated by knowledge can tear down, those motivated by love will be constructive. By our knowledge we even can destroy the brother for whom Christ died. Even though we feel completely justified in our actions, we can harm others and sin against Christ (vs. 11-12). Paul later warned that if we have all knowledge but don’t have love, we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). Thus, knowledge without love is meaningless and ineffective. It’s just a collection of information.

Ask God to fill your life with love. Be careful about communicating what you know. Instead, seek to be motivated by love, always building up others.