Knowledge is a wonderful thing! However, if one uses the knowledge gained for the wrong purpose it is not so good. Paul describes one so affected as being “puffed up.” Have you ever seen or met someone who uses their knowledge to think they are better than everybody else? I have and it is not a pleasant sight. Some people think that just because they know a lot about certain things, they are better than someone else. This way of thinking could very well lead to sin.
Paul’s alternative to this puffed knowledge is love, a love towards God, and a love towards one’s neighbour. Rather than puffing up, with its hint of hot air, love builds up, which suggests solid construction.
When Jewish people pray, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5), Paul would argue that their mind is active in the prayer. Therefore, they have a love-knowledge of God. When we have this love-knowledge toward God, the result is that we are “known by God.”
Now, isn’t that better than being puffed up?
Almighty God, we give you thanks for the knowledge of knowing you, as much as for loving you. Amen. — RW