Love That Builds

We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. —1 Corinthians 8:1

A division had developed in the Corinthian church. Some felt strong convictions against eating meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Others declared their freedom to eat such meat because, as they reasoned, "We know that idols are nothing." Those with freedom looked down on those without as being their inferiors.  

There will always be intellectual snobs. There are always those who feel intellectually superior to others and who ridicule them for following "ignorant superstitions." But the prophet Isaiah wrote, "Your wisdom and your knowledge have warped you; you have said in your heart, 'I am right, there is no other opinion'" (Isaiah 47:10 paraphrase). Paul addressed this issue in the Corinthian church with the warning that "knowledge puffs up."  

We are told to walk in love.

If we really walk in love, we will seek to build up the weaker brother. I won't try to convince him that he is wrong, nor will I flaunt my liberty before him, and thus cause him to stumble. It is a dangerous thing to encourage someone to do something which violates their conscience, to argue them into doing something they feel is wrong.  

"When you thus sin against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never again eat meat" (1 Corinthians 8:12-13). That is walking in love. Don't go around flaunting your liberty and thus, destroy a weaker brother. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.  

God, help us to walk in love and build up one another in spiritual matters, not always trying to prove we are right but recognizing that not all feel the same liberties. In Jesus' precious name, amen.