We must choose our words wisely because life is a journey along which we learn new things. Our views change as we go.
5 A fool spurns a parent’s [teacher’s, mentor’s] discipline [wisdom, guidance, knowledge], but whoever heeds correction [new truth, expanded wisdom] shows prudence.
I am currently reading through 1 Corinthians (you’ve probably noticed). Yesterday, I read 8:2-3, which says,
2 Those who think they know something do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves God is known by God.
Verse 2 reminds me that I don’t know everything, and I won’t know everything in this lifetime (probably not in heaven, either). The all-knowing God that lives in our hearts wants to guide us into all truth (John 16:13), so as we walk with Him, we must remember that others are on a journey with Him, too, and that we all are in different places in that walk. Some of what we have been taught must be passed down to the next generation; some of what we have been taught needs to be discarded and replaced with new truth that the Spirit gives. How do we know the difference?
- We study the words of Christ and those whom He chose to lead the movement. These people would be, according to 1 Corinthians 15:5-7, Peter, John, James, and Paul. We also trust Jude’s letter (he was Jesus’ half brother and James’ full brother), and Luke’s Gospel because it is based upon the disciples’ (many) testimonies. If you’re wondering about Mark, he was dictating Peter’s memoirs.
- We get confirmation from the Spirit in our hearts. We are at peace and we are in a state of humility. Any time we get arrogant about what we know, we are in the flesh. Trust me–it’s easy to do!
- We get confirmation from other Christians; many times it is outside of our regular sources.
- Time. If what we have learned is true, then it will stand the test of time.
- We’ll never know everything. Get used to it.
Verse 3 is a great verse to grasp onto and hold on! It’s the key to our lives in Christ. Isn’t it wonderful?!
There is another translation of these verses (a case in point that we are in process):
Those that think they have knowledge do not yet know as they ought to know. 3 But whoever loves truly knows.
What can we draw from this other translation?
- We have incomplete knowledge. We each hold one piece of a BIG puzzle. It fits in with others. It takes all of us.
- The key to knowledge is LOVE. To really learn what Christ intended on any given point is to view it from the viewpoint of LOVE.
At this point, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 comes into play,
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
So, as we all process new information from the Spirit, let’s show grace to to each other. It’s important. There are only two points that are fellowship-breakers:
- Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 9:20).
- Jesus is the Messiah (Acts 9:22). Of course, this one includes His life, death and resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
Our best attitude is that of Paul’s as he finishes his discourse on knowing Jesus, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, and pressing on for the prize awaiting us,
15 All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained. Philippians 3:15-16
Abba, You are our Head and we are Your Body. May we always remember that You are the brains and we are Your muscle. May we always take our directions from You, and remain teachable and loveable. Amen.