1 Corinthians 8:1-3 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.
The apostle Paul wrote these words to Christians in the city of Corinth. These Christians along with the wider society prized knowledge. The person who knows a lot is impressive. They stand out. The more you know – we tend to believe this – the more honor and power and happiness you’ll have. The Corinthians placed a very high value on possessing knowledge, of being “wise.” But Paul placed a very high value on love, of being known by God.
Actually, I think, “very high value” isn’t strong enough. We might stay Paul placed an extreme value, or extreme to the point of strange. Look at how he compares knowledge and love: “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” It seems he is saying that knowledge, if it is worth something, it must be a by-product of love. And this is indeed a strange (and wonderful) message.
Love is where the Christian life begins, for “love builds up.” And love keeps the Christian life going, for, as Paul will say later, love “never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).