The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Being Careful How-What We Learn

"A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again."

Alexander Pope 1709

For the past two devotions we have made the journey into the world of knowledge, as the apostle Peter wrote, "For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge. Is there any danger, however, in the quest for knowledge? If we are not careful there can be. Today's quote is from Alexander Pope's, "Essay on Criticism." The Pierian spring he speaks of was from Greek mythology. It was the metaphorical source of knowledge in arts and science to all who drank from it. Knowledge has the potential to produce an arrogance if we allow it to "intoxicate" us. Here are Paul's words; "We know that we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up" (1 Cor. 8:1). Paul isn't saying that the pursuit of knowledge is not important. What is important is that we allow the knowledge to build us up rather than puff us up. Knowledge should be all about edification, both of us and those around us. "The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God" (Vs 2 & 3).

Our quest for knowledge, as we try to build ourselves spiritually, needs to be tempered with love. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.....where there is knowledge, it will pass away" (1 Cor 13: 4, 5, 8). The knowledge that we seek is supposed to build upon virtue. If our virtue is to increase, only the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will do it! Lets look at this through the writing of James. "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that come from wisdom......But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere" (3: 13,17). The knowledge which we seek is only good if it makes us better....more virtuous. There can be no virtue in our knowledge if it is tempered with arrogance instead love. The "sword of the spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6: 17) must be used to clear a path of righteousness and virtue...

Have a great day...It would be a perfect day for a RAK or two.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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