“…we know that ‘all of us possess knowledge.’ This ‘knowledge’ puffs up, but love builds up. If anyone imagines that he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.”
1 Corinthians 8:1b-3 ESV
We, as followers of Jesus, often and boldly testify to the people in our world that we can and do “know God” personally by receiving a gracious illumination through the Holy Spirit. Still, it is not difficult for us to imagine, and imagine this we should, that all eternity will involve an ongoing discovery of God’s infinite nature. The above verses from St. Paul aim to help us properly contextualize whatever knowledge of God and His ways we may presently enjoy, by nesting such knowledge in the humility of love. We must be mindful that we do not know it all and that raw knowledge can be, and has often been, easily fashioned into a weapon that murders true love.
I sense profound guiding wisdom in Paul’s final words above. A grander truth than our knowing God is that we love God – that we have experienced a warm and secure relational attachment with our Maker and Redeemer. Furthermore, even beyond our loving God, we are known by Him. This enveloping awareness spans and marries the perfect blend of the disruption and comfort our hearts need for us to live and mature as children of the living God, who is love itself. As St. John said, “If our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart and knows all things.” (1 John 3:20)
May all that is implied by being “known by God” saturate our hearts and minds in this Advent season!