13 August 2013

1 Corinthians 13: Living a Meaningful Life

"And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing."  1 Corinthians 13:2

Some of us know what it's like to study, in hard persuit after knowledge.  We struggle through information, we ask a pile of questions, we read and re-read graduate level articles to gain understanding wondering all the while how in the world our classmates manage not only to grasp all the same information but also do it in English when English isn't their mother tongue.  Those classmates have my total admiration for that alone.

We do this for knowledge we'll use in our careers, which we choose wanting to contribute something meaningful to society (and not just earn a living--I would never have been enticed into graduate school if I had not wanted on the one hand to enrich my own knowledge base and on the other hand to deepen my ability to enrich another human being's life in my chosen field).

We do this for knowledge we'll use in our families--to be better budgeters and gardeners and parents and spouses.  We do it for knowledge we'll use in our hobbies--to be better quilters and sewers and cake decorators and you-name-it-ers.

 The knowledge we gain, in general, does seem to prove useful to us and make us useful.  It's this usefulness that, at least in our culture, fuels our sense of being somebody and having importance, if not in the world at large, then at least in our job, family, church, and social circle.

We believe, somewhere deep down, that if we have knowledge and expertise to contribute and we get to work with what we know, we can gain worth.

As if Jesus on the cross while we were yet sinners didn't prove our worth.  As if we have to constantly work harder to make ourselves irreplaceable, when those hands and that side said His life wasn't too small a price to pay for {insert your name}.  He left wonder and riches and beauties--all He knew--to become knowledgeable in every pain and temptation we had to face in this dark earth--all we knew (gaining the victory over them all for us, too)--

Because you couldn't be replaced with anybody else.
Thing is, if all a person had to do to have a worthwhile life was gain knowledge and then use it, Satan himself would have a pretty worthwhile life.  He's smart.  He gains knowledge, and uses it all the time.  What he does certainly makes a difference.

But he doesn't use his knowledge in the love born of God, and the difference he makes with the knowledge in his head isn't anything I would be proud of.  It doesn't make his life worthwhile, any more than knowledge and skill and usefulness without love make me worthwhile to anyone.

So this gaining knowledge thing can't be about proving worth.  It can't be about being useful just so I can say I'm someone important (because that would be living a life completely about me).

If I want to be somebody, and be important and knowledgeable and all that, my life can't be about me.  It has to be about Jesus.

I can gain knowledge and be a blessing, but not if I don't have Jesus' love in my heart when I put the knowledge to use.  If all I do is all about me, my knowledge and everything I do with it is worse than nothing.  That's the way the devil uses his life, and that's not where I want to be.

I want to be with Jesus, who poured out everything, for me.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Greetings, fellow climbers! Leave your marks on the steps--I'll be delighted to hear from you.