How to act in God’s love

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Kyabram Free Press - - NEWS -

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.

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