Tuesday 21 March 2017

Bible Book:
1 Corinthians

“Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; 3but anyone who loves God is known by him.” (vv. 2-3)

1 Corinthians 8:1-8 Tuesday 21 March 2017

Psalm: Psalm122


In today's passage, Paul is discussing the issueof eating food that has been sacrificed to idols - which hasevidently become an issue of some contention in the Corinthiancommunity. Those who believe it's ok to partake of such food seemto be arguing that "Well, we all know that idols aren't real," andtherefore that there's no harm done.

But Paul counters this argument in a ratherunusual approach. He says that there's essentially a differencebetween knowing andknowing. Thanks for that, Paul, very helpful.But perhaps there's something here about the difference betweenwhat might be termed 'head learning' and 'heart learning.'

I might know, for example, that horror storiesaren't real - that they are constructed to thrill and excite andcommentate on the human condition, not to document any reality thatgenuinely exists beyond our own. But try telling that to me in themiddle of the night in an abandoned graveyard and my heart mightbetray what I really believe!

To give a slightly more pertinent example, Iknow a lot about my husband - his height, eye colour, hair colour,favourite movies and music preferences … but I know him much moretruly through 11 years of marriage and relationship. I know himmuch more fully, more deeply in a way that can't be defined throughmere head knowledge.

In talking about the superiority of love overknowledge, Paul cleverly makes the point that where our heartleads, the rest of us will follow. If eating food sacrificed toidols really has no bearing on one's internal beliefs and thoughts,fine. But if in some way the hearts of the Corinthians are stillcaught up some way in the superstitions and cultures epitomised bythat unholy food, then partaking in it could truly still have anegative effect. Perhaps, one might argue, it would be better toabstain altogether until the 'heart knowledge' changes.

To Ponder

  • In what areas of your life do 'head knowledge' and 'heartknowledge' seem to be in conflict? What might need to change?
  • Which practices in everyday life might seem harmless, but mightnot be healthy for some people because of where our heartsare? 
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