Thursday, September 30, 2010

Does Knowledge Really provide Power?

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. Proverbs 1:7

The problem with firstborns is their tendency to be control freaks! They frequently pick up responsibility for younger siblings and need to be in control to avoid anarchy. Ann especially, in her dysfunctional home took control of her three younger brothers. That of course, was her childhood home, although she still likes to be the neck that turns the head!

I can’t complain, I am a firstborn also. Can you imagine a home with two control freaks? There are times we just have to go along to get along! If you’re like us, you probably like to be in control of life, your situation and even others too if necessary. The old saying that “knowledge is power” is popular because knowledge gives us control.

Trouble is, knowledge can make us arrogant as well. Much of our secular academic world believes the knowledge it has amassed enables it to control life on earth; that God is irrelevant or unnecessary for the task. But Paul says “Knowledge puffs up . . . The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” 1 Corinthians 8:1–2.

Have you ever tried doing up a shirt or blouse, starting with the wrong button? If the first one is wrong, every other one is out of place also! Similarly, if our fundamental truth about the universe is faulty, then all truth derived from it will be faulty as well. Not to respect God’s interest and involvement in earth and its inhabitants is to start our search for knowledge with the “wrong button.”

Part of that fundamental truth is that our sinful nature distorts our thinking. Left to our own devices, we will try to control life in ways that are ultimately self-defeating. Let’s seek God’s perspective on life if we want to be wise. Perhaps my greatest fear is that even using biblical knowledge without God’s insight could undermine my ability to share God’s truth!

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