How to act in God’s love
>> On the horizon
IT MAY well look to many that Christians are people who follow rules and have no fun. This is not my experience. We do have a more restrictive moral code than some people, though this can lead to a more stable and fulfilling life. Our rule keeping is respecting and following God’s guidance for us, and when we do it well these rules to help the wider society and us. Clearly this has not always been the case, and that deeply saddens me and offends God.
In the book of 1 Corinthians 8, God’s follower Paul wrote, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up”. Please allow me a few moments to expand on this. We all use knowledge to live, get around and get along with others. Some misuse the knowledge that they have for their own selfish desires, worse people use their knowledge of others to control or put them down. This is knowledge that puffs up.
Love builds up. It involves looking for the good in others or how they might be helped in a particular situation. Love that builds up helps others, but also helps us as well — we feel rewarded as we are able to help others. It is great to be able to contribute to others in a positive way. It is also fantastic to receive help from others when we need it.
Paul in this 1 Corinthians Chapter 8 discusses how to balance knowledge and love in our relationships and how that is so pleasing to God. For Christians it can be described as passing on the grace and mercy we have already received from God, through Jesus. It is a bit like the movie Pay it Forward.
Knowledge and love together leads to help, compassion and care for someone in their unique situation. Knowing what would be the best help makes the biggest difference. We can all be good at presenting our own view on a situation, but knowledge and love is more concerned with what is best for the other person.
Knowledge will at times mean we know we should not take part in some activities. As a Christian I want to please God in what I do; like following the instruction of a loving parent who knows more than the child. But this is not condemning the other person but making personal decisions for myself. A poor swimmer should not jump in the deep water to help someone drowning but find a way to rescue them from safety, to bring them to safety.
Knowledge and love together can provide effective help and compassion to others, and build others up and help them in a time of need. Many of us need to work on being better recipients of people’s loving help as well.
God loves you, I do hope we can all mix knowledge and love in our healthy unselfish relationships. Rev’d David Willsher, Kyabram Anglican Church.