No one could accuse the Pharisees of Jesus’ day of being ignorant of the Old Testament. They knew it so well that many of them went around telling others how they should be living. They became proud, arrogant, judgmental religionists (Matthew 23).
I must confess I can relate. After a couple of years of Bible school, I thought I knew everything. I remember making caustic remarks about some statements I heard in sermons. One time I was especially critical of a guest speaker who was filled with enthusiasm but not very well trained. My root problem was pride and a lack of love. I had knowledge but didn’t know how to handle it. It took a rebuke from a fellow Christian to show me that my knowledge was doing more harm than good.
It is good to have Bible knowledge. We need to learn all we can about God’s Word and how it applies to everyday life. But we can become proud of our knowledge. That’s why Paul said, “Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies” (1 Corinthians 8:1).
When we feel superior to other Christians because of what we know, and when we use what we know to promote ourselves rather than to build others up, we are motivated by pride, not by love.
Lord, Jesus, help us to know and love. – David C. Egner
Christ’s love is not puffed up, unkind;
It gladly will the broken bind,
It envies not, is patient still,
Delights to do the Father’s will. – Stahl
Knowledge minus love makes us proud; knowledge plus love makes us Christlike.
- June 24, 1992, Our Daily Bread