My week started off with two special events. On Monday night, John and I enjoyed a dinner prepared by our friend, Marianne. She cared enough to find out exactly what my restricted diet included, and she prepared those foods in a tasty and attractive way. Even though she had been up early and had spent the day teaching, she greeted us with a smile. She was relaxed, organized, and gracious. In her small, simple, and yet attractive apartment, I sensed the presence of Jesus. I felt very much loved—by him and by her.
On Tuesday evening, the teens in our church dressed up in their” best” and served the seniors a Valentine’s Day dinner. They, also, took care of all of the cleanup chores after the meal was over. Using her culinary and artistic talents, and with the assistance of her husband, Deb prepared a delicious dinner. She lovingly catered to my dietary restrictions. Diane, Roxy, and Lynn led us in songs on the theme of God’s love. Again, I felt loved by him and by my church family.
During the before-dinner conversations, a friend made this remark: “With the internet, we are so connected that we know everything; there isn’t much left to discover.”
Do we really know everything? And how important is knowledge? According to Paul, “knowledge only fills people with pride. It is love that helps the church grow stronger” (1 Corinthians 8:1 ERV). So does that mean knowledge has no value? No, just that it is limited. Ignorance certainly has no benefits, but according to Solomon, the pursuit of knowledge, in itself, leaves us wanting. After spending his life in search for knowledge, this is what he said:
‘“I’ve stockpiled wisdom and knowledge. “What I’ve finally concluded is that so-called wisdom and knowledge are mindless and witless—nothing but spitting into the wind.
Much learning earns you much trouble.
The more you know, the more you hurt”’ (Ecclesiastes 1:17-18 MSG).
Through knowledge, we make painful discoveries; yet, through experiencing love, we find healing. If we want to grow, we must embrace both knowledge and love. Yet, love is superior to knowledge, because our knowledge is always partial. This is what Paul stated: “All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me completely” (1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT).
Failing to recognize the incompleteness of our knowledge gets us into trouble. It produces arrogance; we become judgmental. Because we think that we completely know someone else, we determine what that person should do and should not do. Then, when he or she does not live up to our expectations, we become resentful. This arrogance, based on our limited knowledge, produces impatience because we think we know not only what that other person is capable of doing but also how fast he or she should be doing it. Yet, we don’t know anyone completely, not even ourselves. That’s why it’s important, at all times, to affirm God’s love for us.
God, who is all-knowing, all-wise, and totally loving is the only one who knows us completely. He loves us. He is patient. He is kind. He is forgiving and just. He, with his infinite knowledge, relates to us out of humility and love. When we—with our limited knowledge—become arrogant in the knowledge that we have, our knowledge destroys love. That’s why love is better than knowledge.