The Right Structure

Quality construction materials are an integral component of a successful construction project. Most people would rather pay a little more to have a project done right the first time, rather than to skimp on the quality of the materials or cut corners in some other way in order to try to save a little money.

In 1 Corinthians 8:1 (RSV), Paul writes: “‘Knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up.” What causes something to “puff up”? Simply put, air. If something is filled with air, it’s hollow, empty. You might not always be able to tell that something is hollow or empty just by looking at the outside or surface of it, but pick it up or tap on it, and you can tell rather quickly that it’s hollow, rather than solid.

At first glance or thought, knowledge may seem like something that’s solid, something of substance. But this so-called “head knowledge” can have limited value and potential impact. It doesn’t carry the weight of potential to bring about life change, either for the holder and purveyor of it, or for the one with whom it is shared.

Love, on the other hand, contains the quality and power needed to bring about life change; it is solid; it has substance. The structure built with it will not collapse, but will endure the tests of time and trials. “Heart knowledge” is the type of knowledge that can benefit both its holder and purveyor, and the one with whom it is shared, because the motive behind its dissemination is love, not pride. If you’re going to build something in the Kingdom of God, first and foremost build with love, rather than knowledge for the sake of knowledge.
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