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Knowledge vs. Love

In my last post, I concluded the section of First Corinthians that dealt with romantic relationships.  Now the Apostle Paul is starting a new subject.

The Corinthian church had sent him a letter asking whether or not they could eat meat that had been sacrificed at a pagan temple.  You may think that this doesn’t apply to us, but I assure you, it does.  You’ll find out why as we go through chapter 8 of Paul’s letter.

In his society, the people of his day would look for any advantage they could get.  They would seek the blessing of an idol so they would bring an animal for sacrifice to the pagan temple.  Usually, they would bring their very best for this purpose.

The pagan priests who ran the temples would then take this meat from the sacrificed animals and sell it in the market to raise money for their support.  Because of its source, it was usually the best meat available.  So the question of whether a Christian could purchase this meat was a valid one.

How would this apply to us?  The problem of Paul’s day was that there was no Old Testament Scripture that directly talked about this issue.  So there were some believers who said it was a sin while others thought it was perfectly fine.

There are issues that we deal with in the church today that are like that.  Things that the Bible doesn’t mention, yet we have opinions about.  We ask are they sin or not.  I’m talking about things like dancing, drinking alcohol, going to a casino, getting a tattoo, or playing the lottery.

We need to hear Paul’s answer if we’re to walk correctly before God.  He starts by laying down some important principles.

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all possess knowledge.  Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.  But the man who loves God is known by God.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3

It all starts with our knowledge and love.  In all cases love trumps knowledge.  That’s because with knowledge comes pride.  We think that we’re somehow better than others because we possess more knowledge than them.

That’s not the case.  Knowledge is like air.  You can blow up a balloon, but there’s no substance to it.  In our society, people will spend years of their lives accumulating knowledge in universities.  They think that somehow they’re more valuable because of it.  In reality, the more love you possess, the better a person you become.

This is especially true when you think that you know something completely.  Paul is trying to get across to us that you can never know everything about a particular subject – especially when it deals with your walk with God.

Paul says that the man who loves God is known by God.  That phrase literally says that the one who loves God is known under God.  That tells me that the more you love God, the more you submit yourself under His control.

The more you love the Lord, the more people begin to see your submission to Him.  Then, your love for others will begin to increase.  The more you love, the more valuable you are to God and His kingdom.  It has no relationship to how much knowledge you possess.

Make it your goal to live a life of love, then you’ll be able to use your knowledge for the benefit of others.

Question: How have you seen the effect of knowledge bringing pride with it?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

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Posted by on April 15, 2019 in Fellowship, Legalism, Spiritual Walk

 

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Pride – Know the Symptoms

Are you walking in pride? Do you know what to look for? Many are self-deceived and don’t even know they’re headed for problems in this area.

But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
James 4:6

By understanding pride, we can make sure that we haven’t put ourselves in a position of opposing God. That’s a no-win situation. We need to steer clear of that trap.

Scripture records some events that surrounded Christ’s birth. The following principals are gleaned from Luke’s Gospel and the birth announcements of both John the Baptist and Jesus. These are found in Luke 1:5-38. You may want to read this passage before continuing with this article.

By comparing the responses of Zechariah and Mary, we can see how to recognize pride. It’s clear in Luke’s Gospel that Zechariah was rebuked, while Mary was commended. How you answer the following questions will show your spiritual attitude in relation to pride.

Are you walking in fear? Right from the start, Zechariah was terrified, while Mary was troubled. Even though it may sound the same on the surface, there’s a world of difference.

The word troubled literally means to be mixed up or uncomfortable. This is a normal reaction to a spiritual encounter.

When new opportunities arise to serve God, there’s always a level of discomfort and uncertainty. On the other hand, if the thought of doing something new for Christ is terrifying to you, that’s a sign that pride is at work in your life.

Do you need proof of the outcome before you do something for God? Zechariah’s first question was, “How can I be sure of this?” Mary simply asked for a clarification of how it would happen. When given a new assignment from the Lord, do you insist that you know how it will turn out BEFORE you act on it?

Praying for wisdom and direction to complete your service to Christ is the right way to go. Needing proof that it will turn out the way you want it to, is a sign of pride in your heart.

Do you see your title as important to God? Two different people stood before the angel Gabriel – God’s designated messenger. Mary’s response was, “I am the Lord’s servant.” That’s the best way of viewing ourselves. What God wants accomplished in me is my priority.

Zechariah’s response was a little different. Many translations quote him as saying, “I’m an old man.” What he actually said, in the original Greek, was, “I am an elder”.

It was as if he was somehow superior and needed the assurance that his position would not be compromised by this announcement. After all, he had a reputation to maintain.

If you can’t do what the Lord wants because it’s “beneath you” – that’s a symptom that pride has taken over. You have to realize that if God doesn’t do what He says He’ll do, He has more to lose than you do.

Don’t let pride mess up your walk with the Lord. If you find these symptoms in your life, then simply repent and move on in the grace of God.

Question: How have you found yourself wrestling with pride?

© Nick Zaccardi 2017

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2017 in Faith, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

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Running Away – Part 2

Genesis 16:9-10
Then the angel of the LORD told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.”  The angel added, “I will so increase your descendants that they will be too numerous to count.”

I don’t know about you, but I hate getting instructions like that.  Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case in life.  The only way forward is to go back.

I have learned this the hard way on many occasions.  I love to go on road trips with my wife.  Most of the time it’s great fun.  However, there have been times when I have missed an exit or a road I needed to go down.

That’s when the “man pride” starts to kick in.  Do I keep going forward as if nothing’s wrong?  Do I humble myself, admit the problem, and turn around?  Sometimes it can be a hard decision.

Backtracking is never easy to do.  It requires you to acknowledge that you’re not perfect.  But, the fact is that not turning around can compound the problem.  If I hadn’t gone back to the right exit, who knows where I would have ended up.

In life, don’t be too proud to backtrack.  Sometimes you need to find the place where you last knew you were in God’s plan.  If you find yourself a little “lost” in life, take the time to go before the Lord and seek His wisdom to get you back on track.  Don’t be too afraid or proud to work on the areas He speaks to you about.  Do what is needed to bring restoration.

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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My Testimony – Battling Pride

1 Peter 5:5-6
Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

I am so thankful to God that I was raised in a Christian home.  Because of that, I was able to accept the Gospel message at an early age.  (See my previous “Testimony” post)  That being said, there is a truth that all those in my condition need to learn.  Just because I grew up going to church doesn’t mean that I had no use for the life transforming power of God in me.

I need Christ to work on me the same as everybody else – maybe even more so, because my problems were below the surface.  Let me explain…

From my earliest memories, I was attending Sunday School at my church.  I was also at church whenever the doors were open.  That’s how my parents operated.  Speaking of my parents, they were the type that always made sure that I had learned my “memory verse” for the week – BEFORE Sunday.  There was only one other person in my class who had to do that.  The rest just waited for him or me to go first, and then they repeated what we said.

I loved learning the Bible and soaked it in like a sponge.  Ultimately, I became very knowledgeable in the Word of God.  And that’s where it started to go downhill.  When a question was asked by the teacher, I always knew the answer and raised my hand.  Sometimes the teacher would call on me and I would receive the satisfaction of being correct.

Of course, teachers didn’t want the same person answering all the questions.  So I was the one who jumped around with my hand up going, “Ou – ou – ou.  Call on me.  I know it.”  When I saw that didn’t work, I resorted to yelling out the answer without the teacher calling on me.  Needless to say, the teacher’s reaction didn’t boost my ego as I had intended.

Then it struck me.  I came up with a new strategy.  I never raised my hand again.  I let all the other students answer the questions UNTIL there was a question that no one could answer.  Only then would I raise my hand and invariably give the right answer.  I became the class expert.  The one they went to at the last resort.

Without me ever knowing, the sin of pride had taken root in me.  The same sin that caused Satan to fall had now taken over my life.  That’s where it started, but I have had to battle it ever since.  Thank God for the power of the Holy Spirit that gives me victory over it today.  It’s the sin that will always pop up when I least expect it.  I need the Savior’s power as a constant part of my life.  I cannot be who I am without Him.

Just because I grew up in church doesn’t make me invulnerable to sin.  I need the power of the Holy Spirit just like anyone else.  I can truly say that without His hand on me, I would never have made it to where I am today.  Thank You, Jesus, for your life-changing power!

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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Proverb – Disgrace or Wisdom?

Proverbs 11:2
When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.

We all want to be a success.  Solomon, who wrote these nuggets of wisdom, understood what it took to be successful.  He gives us advice that is timeless – as true today as it was the day it was written.

In this proverb, he gives us two contrasting truths, one negative and one positive.  The first deals with pride.  Please understand, we all need a healthy amount of pride to be able to function correctly.  Taking pride in your work is what helps you to advance.  This is not the pride he is talking about here.

The pride that hurts me is the view that I’m better than everybody else.  I guess it could best be described as arrogance.  The rejection of any help from others is a symptom of this condition.  After all, why would we need help from this rabble – they all need our help.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that it leads to disgrace.  What that word literally means is that your opinion is largely ignored.  Have you ever noticed that people who act like they know everything, are rarely gone to for advice.  Solomon tells us that quickest way to being ignored is through arrogance.

Humility is just the opposite.  It understands that there are people you need to go to for advice and help along the way.  There are those who know more than you on certain subjects.  As you listen to them and learn from their experience, you start to grow in wisdom and knowledge.

Eventually, people start seeing those same qualities in you.  They come to you for advice.  Humility is the road to advancement in the kingdom of God.

We all have the choice.  Do we want disgrace or wisdom?  The road we take determines our destination.  If you want to be a person who influences the lives of others, then choose the path that leads through humility – it reaps the best rewards.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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