In 1 Corinthians 8:1, we read: “Now let me address the issue of food offered in sacrifice to idols. It seems that everyone believes his own opinion is right on this matter. How easily we get puffed up over our opinions! But love builds up the structure of our new life” (TPT). The Greek word translated here as “opinion” is knowledge or wisdom. Paul’s basically saying that what we know or what we believe we know or what we believe is truth — this stuff gets us conceited. This stuff gets us puffed up and self-centered. This puffed up attitude is not unifying. It’s not constructive. Rather, it tears down, it breaks apart, it causes friction.
As we look around social media, we hear some very unloving words. People speak without kindness to others to share opinions or in response to comments. Someone will post an opinion they strongly hold dear. The next thing you know, the flaming darts are tossed and there’s a battleground in full motion. People pick sides. Before you know it, people get hurt. Friendships are destroyed. Integrity is distinguished. In the blink of an eye, there’s demolition derby. Why? Because it is not the puffed up, the proud people, that actually encourages or edifies. Nope. Paul makes it clear in this passage that what builds is LOVE! Love is what builds up, what encourages, what is the best teacher.
Building is done best with love, not with knowledge alone. This is the mistake we too often make. We spend so much time with our knowledge, our facts, our opinions. We cling to them. We share them. We pretty much live and die on them. Yes, knowledge and opinions matters. And yes, there must be truth in love. We can never sacrifice truth. Yet what matters most is love. Love matters. How can you build with love today? What loving words can you speak to encourage and edify others? How can you share your knowledge or your opinions with love and gentleness? When should you speak and when should you listen? Today, whatever you do, do it with love (1 Corinthians 16:14).
Thank you Jesus for Your love and mercy. Lord, help us to open our hearts for You to move freely. Help us to love like You — without conditions, without restriction. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!