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“Technically Correct, Yet Completely Wrong”

1 Corinthians 8:1

Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that "We all possess knowledge." But knowledge puffs up while love builds up.

Thoughts for Today:

Superior knowledge almost always leads a person to arrogance -- that is, unless deliberate efforts are made to control and prevent it. The phrase "puffs up" refers to the Greek word "pysioo", and means "to inflate, blow up, or make proud". In our passage today, Paul's comments are addressed to the Corinthian believers who were technically correct regarding the issue of eating meat sacrificed to idols. Yet, they were also completely wrong. How so? Because their knowledge had become more important than walking in love with their brothers and sisters in Christ. Paul's emphasis is upon love, which is a lot more important than being right.

One of the hazards of knowledge is the temptation to place it above practical application. We find this often in our educational system when it produces students who are expert in the theories of their chosen field, yet lacking the practical wisdom it takes to succeed. For example, many students graduate with advanced degrees in management and don't have the slightest idea of how to relate or communicate with those they are supposed to manage. Educators seem to be more enamored with the process than the product they produce.

In the same way, pastors and teachers can entrench themselves so deeply in Biblical theology they lose their ability to communicate. Wrongly applied, too much education can do more harm than good. So what's more important: To win the theological battle, or the war for the person's heart? This is the situation encountered in Corinth -- arguments over theology had distracted them from more important issues. In other words, the condition of the food was insignificant when compared to maintaining love and unity within the Church.

Questions to Ponder:

Are you having difficulty relating to others in your church who hold opposing views? Does it matter who is right or wrong? What should the over-riding concern be for everyone involved? "Christ-centered love," is the correct answer.

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About the author

Pocket Devotions are written by Mike Brooks. A retired businessman, he is Moderator of South Shores church, leads the Deacon Board, serves on the finance committee, and he teaches a Men's Bible study and the Men's Ministry. Mike has a passion for evangelical missions. He is the husband of Sherry; the father of Ryan, Natalie, Krissy, Rebecca, and Amanda; the father-in-law of Ariel; and the grandfather of Conner and Christian.

The League offers several printed resources other than Gospels of John. These include booklets that explain the gospel for children, and our powerful reference guides. Learn more in the Resources section of our web site.

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