“This knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God (1 Corinthians 8: 2-3).”
We’ve all met them. They are annoying…know-it-alls. Let your mind go back to a time when one of these people made you feel small because they were rubbing something they knew that you didn’t in your face. In life, we need people around us who know more than we do and who use that knowledge for our good. You want a doctor who knows quite a bit about your condition. You want a mechanic that knows more about cars than you do. But no matter how much a person knows, if they do not love, their lives are diminished and so are those they live and work with.
Paul is writing to warn mature Christians who have decided that they can eat food that once was part of an offering to an idol that made its way to the market place. Since they are smart, they realize that there really are no other gods than the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, therefore they feel no guilt or worry about eating that meat. The problem is that some newer Christians who have joined their church have just turned away from idol worship to life in Jesus, and, at the sight of the meat that they know was once offered to idols, memories flooded in of the gods they previously worshiped. Maybe doubt crept in…maybe fear…maybe worry. Regardless of the emotions, these new Christians were being distracted from their focus on Jesus by the behavior of other Christians.
Paul argued that mature Christians, even though they were morally right, should be more concerned about the spiritual well being of their new brothers and sisters than about being right. In this way, they would be acting like God, showing the world the love of Jesus. When have we been right about something but expressed it without love for someone else? In the Christian community, love is even more important than being technically correct. Let us love one another as Jesus Christ has loved us.