And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. - Philippians 1:9-11
Is it enough for love to abound without knowledge and discernment? Is it even possible? Certainly, we can overflow with any amount of goodwill, of affection, of warm sentiment or even passion, but do any of these things amount to real godly, kingdom-driven love if it is devoid of knowledge and discernment?
The best motivations are not sufficient to provide real help if wisdom is not also applied
The answer to this probably requires some discernment itself, certainly, it requires some nuance. After all, none but God is all-knowing and all-understanding and yet we can still love. It would be hard for our love to be of any benefit to anyone if we are perfectionists, insisting on perfect knowledge before taking any loving action. We cannot produce in ourselves the knowledge of God any more than we can be, in our own selves, the pure and unadulterated love of God. And yet, in scripture, He does tie love and knowledge together repeatedly, too often to feel like a coincidence. Indeed we know that there is no coincidence with Him.
So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. - Colossians 1:10
My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; - Proverbs 2:1-2
For wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; -Proverbs 2:10
There is something to this, there is some way in which these attributes are considered interdependent in some way. Those of us who are familiar with the law of unintended consequences can certainly understand, at least to some degree, how the best motivations are not sufficient to provide real help to one another, or even to prevent worsening circumstances if wisdom is not also applied to the situation.
We do not have anything necessary to love as we are commanded
How can we apply this without falling into perfectionist paralysis, fearful to make any move without a superhuman ability to predict the long-term consequences? We cannot have the knowledge of God and therefore cannot exercise his perfect compassion...on our own.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing
- John 15:5
We do not have anything necessary to love as we are commanded, but the Jesus Christ, the vine, has all and is all. To bear His fruit, we must abide in him. Any love that flows from us instead of through us, from Him, is not love at all and of no benefit to our beloved, just empty and self-focused sentiment.
Love without wisdom is not love, wisdom without love is not wisdom, knowledge and sentiment without Christ is nothing. Truly we need Him in every way for every good work.
Daily Nourish serves to encourage Christians to honor God with all their heart, mind, soul & strength and to love their neighbor as themselves. Thanks for stopping by! Davina
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