Thursday: September 10, 2020
1 Corinthians 8:1 Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.
When I read this text, the image of a puffer fish came to mind. This group of animals are characterized by two things: their toxins and their ability to ‘puff up’. To them, puffing up is an ecological advantage. By allowing water or air into their stomachs, it makes them more maneuverable and appear a lot more fierce than they might be; so their puffing up acts as a protective shield.
Yet, in reading Paul’s text, unless we look beyond the literal words, all we will see is the contrast: “Knowledge is bad and love is good”. But puffing up does have a place in the pursuit of knowledge. Imagine a puffer fish staying as it is ‘slim and slender’ making no use of the knowledge that it is able to more than double its size by taking in water or air? It would become an easy prey for predators.
However, this knowledge is also includes the fact that beyond a certain volume of intake, puffing up would actually cause expansion beyond a point of return. There is always an air of haughtiness and pride evident in the eyes and attitude of those who carry a body of knowledge. This pride has its place as it can act as a platform on which one can be brave and confident to live out the knowledge they know.
Unfortunately, this pride could seep through and make knowledge
harmful. So we are reminded- the use and place of knowledge must be considered with caution because if we aren’t careful, in puffing up, we will blow up.
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