January 27

1 Corinthians 8:1-6

“Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” vs. 1

The Corinthians were divided between those who thought eating food sacrificed to idols was just fine and those who thought it should be forbidden. Paul’s inclination was to support those eating such food–after all he knew that idols were imaginary, and besides, the steaks at the pagan temples were the best in town. But Paul distrusted knowledge–he knew how insufferable know-it-alls could be. What counted wasn’t the extent of a person’s knowledge but the depth of their love. Paul was wrong about a number of things, but he’s right on target here, and his observation continues to ring true. We see it all the time! There are some who use every opportunity to let others know how smart they are. Obnoxious to the core, they can’t help offering advice and telling others what to think and do. They have answers for everything, but they don’t have a clue about loving. Lovers, on the other hand, lead with their hearts and not their heads. They can spot when we need a hug and lift us up when we are in their presence. Such persons are the strength of our communities. And what a gift they are! If our country is to heal in the next few years, these are the people who will make it happen. They will literally bind us together with love!

Thought for the Day: Know-it-alls that I have known!

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