Being Doctrinally Right Will Make You A Jerk, Unless. . .

Your doctrine can be as sound as all get out and you can still blow it.

As the Apostle Paul says, “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” I don’t think he is referring to one particular kind of knowledge, I think he’s speaking of knowledge in general.

In the context, he’s speaking about knowledge about meat offered to idols. When someone knows something another person doesn’t know, it can result in two bad things:

1) The one who knows looks down on the one who doesn’t know.
2) The one who doesn’t know is threatened and is bitter against the one who knows.

This is what knowledge does to our pride. You can have the right knowledge, be the possessor of truth itself, and yet still be a raving jerk.

Many have seen this and thought that doctrine should thus be avoided. “Can’t we all just get along?” is the rallying cry meaning, “Can’t we all be mutually stupid?”

I suppose this would work, but I’m not convinced it’s what God had in mind.

God wants us to have knowledge, but He also wants us to love people.

When the time comes when you learn a new thing, do you love those who taught you the wrong thing, or do you gloat and feel superior?

This is no easy thing and I do not claim to have this one under control.

A couple chapters later from the “knowledge puffs up” verse, Paul says, “And though I . . . understand all mysteries, and all knowledge . . . and have not charity, I am nothing.”

All your doctrinal rightness means nothing if you don’t love people. If being right leads you to argue, fight, call names, belittle and badger people, then you’ve missed the point. It may even be your lack of love is demonstrating your doctrine is wrong.

It might be. Then again, you might just be a proud jerk like everyone else.

Knowing what you’re talking about, or rather, feeling like you know what you are talking about, can be devastating to your faith! Paul follows up the “knowledge puffs up” verse with “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”

It’s better to conclude you know nothing so that you might learn love, than it is to plow people under with all your fancy knowings.

Ignorance is not the answer. Knowing Christ is the big deal. Do you know Him, or do you just want to argue finer intellectual points about Him? One of the worst things you can do in your faith is come to the conclusion you know everything.

Rather than focusing on growing your knowledge, try this one instead: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment.” Desire your love to grow in knowledge; not your knowledge to grow in love!

Follow that up with, “But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”