1 Corinthians 8

            Consider an issue you care about.  Likely, one of the big reasons you care is that you either see some abuse, neglect, inattention, or lack of love applied toward someone or a group of people.  So, you want to see it be different.  Now, here comes the interesting part: We are motivated by love, but we often end up addressing the problem or issue in the realm of thought and/or belief.  We rely on the political, theoretical, and intellectual to solve the problem.  In other words, our hearts are attuned but we turn to knowledge and rules to achieve a change.
            The Apostle Paul knew that we are primarily lovers – not thinkers or believers.  Thinkers and believers traffic in knowledge and faith in belief systems.  These are of great significance, yet they are not the primary or ultimate ends for Paul.  Instead, Paul took on a divisive issue in the Corinthian church (whether one can eat food which was originally sacrificed to idols, or not) by saying this:
“Knowledge makes us proud of ourselves, while love makes us helpful to others.”
 
Paul begins with love and ends with love.  This issue of certain kinds of food was neither an intellectual nor a faith issue – it was a love issue.  Paul’s answer to the problem dividing them on food was that food is a secondary issue.  To look at it through the lenses of love makes it clear what you ought to or ought not to do.  This doesn’t make thinking and believing irrelevant, it just places it in its proper place and supports love.
            Whenever our opinions and thoughts, and our faith and belief structures are handled without love, then special interest groups begin to form.  Then, division occurs based upon what we think and believe about certain things.  But when love is supreme, knowledge is no longer the tail wagging the dog.
            Love is meant to enlighten us not only to the problems among us; love is also the answer to those issues we care about most.  Let that statement be added to your knowledge so that you encourage and build-up others, and not discourage and tear them down.  It really is all about love.

 

Loving God, you demonstrated your own love for us through sending us your Son, the Lord Jesus, who is the perfect embodiment of love.  May He be so manifested within me that love becomes not only the motivator to change, but also the answer to change; through the power and help of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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