Devotions By Jan

Puffed Up

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Scripture for Today: I Corinthians 8:1 “Now concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies.” (NKJV) Photo by Eugene Kim

The blowfish looks pretty comical when puffed up. In fact one of his names is “pufferfish.” This unusual fish has a very elastic stomach, able to quickly ingest huge amounts of water and air. In doing so they become several times their normal size and so avoid becoming someone’s next meal.This fish gives new meaning to the idea of being puffed up and full of one’s self.

Today’s verse acknowledges that we all have some measure of knowledge. The problem comes with what we do with it. Knowledge in and of itself can puff one up, making one arrogant. However, this same knowledge coupled with love can be a source of encouragement, edifying and building others up. Early believers coming out of idol worship were emboldened to eat meat offered to idols, to do something against their sensibilities by others who had no such qualms. Knowledge needed to be softened with love and patient understanding.

Which is more important; to be proven right or to love? Are the rights of the knowledgeable believer to trump the weaker conscience of another? Or is my being right more important than that relationship? These are questions I have had to ask myself. Quite frankly, there are times when claiming my freedom in Christ is paramount. (I Cor. 10:23) But when I insist, I sacrifice the good of my fellow-believer with that selfish attitude.

Lord, keep me humble and responding with love to others.

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