Many people are ignorant (and I am not using this as a derogatory term). There are people who have no idea what the Gospel is, or how it applies to them. There are people who are ignorant when it comes to health issues. They just blindly trust a health official concerning their health and miss the opportunity of finding out the cure or even prevention of their illness.
So, it would seem like having knowledge is some kind of advantage, doesn't it? But let's see if that is really so.
The Bible says that 'knowledge puffs up but love edifies'. I was thinking about that this morning. I do have a very strong concern with what I see going on in the body of Christ at large.
There are those who are professing believers in Jesus Christ who have a lot of knowledge. Even though their knowledge seems to be based from the word of God, the way they live their lives, many times, is contrary to the word of God. Why is this happening?
The word of God is clear about how God feels about pride. Someone could argue and say that there are no commandments telling us not to be proud, but there are verses that do tell us what will happen if we are proud. Pride comes before a fall, and, God resists the proud. Makes me want to consider more, how not to be proud.
The term 'puffs up' is referring to pride. Knowledge makes us feel powerful. It seems to empower us, and that in itself might not be bad, but it can be deceptive. When we know something, and others don't know about whatever we know, we feel powerful over them. That is pride.
Anything that leads to pride is dangerous. Pride considers ourselves more important to others. John Piper says that the opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is pride. Makes sense.
I am seeing a lot of people spew a lot of knowledge concerning theology and related issues. If we know so much then what is lacking? Something seems to be missing.
What I think is missing is simply that we have knowledge, but it is not knowledge that has been applied to our lives. It is not part of us, but it is stored in our minds and we use it as a weapon instead of a life changing device.
When is knowledge good? It is so valuable when we apply it to our lives. "But be doers of the word, not just hearers, deceiving your own selves". We see the word of God. It makes sense to us. We see how it can help others or when others are in rebellion to God. We just don't see it in ourselves. Somehow, we mistake knowledge for applied knowledge. It has not been activated in our own lives. It only works for us when we apply the knowledge to our hearts. Otherwise, we end up deceived, according to James.
Is it better to be in ignorance than have knowledge? Both can be devastating to us. We need knowledge, but it needs to be applied and used in the right way. If not, many can be hurt.
What is missing then, with only knowledge? Remember John Piper's definition of the opposite of love being pride. We are either going to be serving ourselves or serving others. When we love, we serve others. We are kind to those we love. We love people when they fail. We love people when they make mistakes. We love people even when they sin against us. We don't look for ways to repay them or to take revenge.
The answer to the question above, is simply, love is missing. God is love. Those who know Him will experience His love, not just know about His love, or that He is love. Not only that, but those who know Him will love others. It will be a joy for us to love, when we are growing in our relationship with God.