Status (like facebook and AIM have): It is cloudy today like it has never been in the past three weeks and I just love it. Grey cloudy days always remind me of my home in Seattle. I doubt many other people here in Jo’burg thrill to a cloudy dawn.

When I came to South Africa the first time, six years ago, we were told to read the book of Acts to prepare ourselves for what God could do when he ministers to those in need through those who have needs themselves. So when I prepared to return to South Africa I started reading Acts again. And then Romans (wow! Romans hit me in a brand new way this time). And now I am on 1 Corinthians which my Tulane small group just worked through this spring.

And last night I read this verse:
1 Corinthians 8:1b
“We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”
Now within the context of the chapter, the book, and the times Paul was talking about the decision whether or not to eat food sacrificed to idols. He warns believers to consider both their spiritual state with the Lord and the spiritual state of those around them. He speaks about the knowledge that food sacrificed to idols is technically just food because idols could never compare to the one true God. But he also speaks about how love needs to be in all our decisions. We are not loving a weak or new believer if we eat food sacrificed to idols in front of them when they don’t know the difference between eating the food and worshipping the idols.

So that is the context. But listen to this part of the verse on its own again:
“We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.”

Here’s what hit me; as much as I am growing in knowledge both in life and in the school system I had better be working even harder to grow in love.

Because without love, I am nothing. Without love, my degrees are just letters next to the name of a nobody. Without love, I have no use for these degrees. Without love, I have no one to serve. Without love, my knowledge sounds like a clanging cymbal sounding off alone without an orchestra to accompany — a clanging cymbal that no one is listening to, not even one set of ears.  Sounds a bit like 1 Corinthians 13, doesn’t it?

So these days, I am praying that God will teach me how to love before he teaches me anything else.

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4 Responses to “”

  1. […] News » News Status (like facebook and AIM have): It is cloudy today like it …2008-08-04 12:38:41Up, worked through this spring. And now I am on 1 Corinthians which my Tulane […]

  2. That is an amazing truth Jen! I pray that God will help me and our youth group going to New Orleans tomorrow and that we will be filled with love to reach out to those who desperately need Christ. You are amazing! I love you!

  3. Thanks for the insight and for sharing that. We all need to remember that without love we are just like a clanging gong in God’s ears.

    And not one of those melodious, deep rich gongs. No: One of those annoying, off-key, sharp, loud, obnoxious gongs. We don’t want to set God’s teeth on edge, do we? (Does God have teeth?)

    Here are two more questions for you Jennifer:
    Do they have peanut butter in S.A.? Is it like in the States or is the consistency/taste different?
    And, what is the worship style in the church you have found a home in? How does it compare to an AOG church in the States ?

  4. I chose to comment on this entry, well, because it was your newest one, WHACK! Just killed a mosquito. I’m going to get Dengue I know it. So anyway if you haven’t made the decision yet, and I know I’m a little late, go for the automatic, just do it. And I can’t believe you’ve been in africa so long already! I’ve been in Thailand for 2 months. I can’t believe that either. And 60 people read your blog a day? That’s a pretty awesome outreach. I wish I had that. I hope all is well. We still need to skype 🙂

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