June 6th 2009

On being certain

“…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day”.

2 Timothy 1:12 (NKJ)

At times I have been so sure of something only to discover later I was wrong. Illusions of certainty, they happen to us all, sometimes with shattering consequences.

Once I thought I was certain about various ideas, as if the ideas themselves were the truth. Of course, they were not. Only Jesus, who is the Word incarnate, is truth. As I get older in my Christian walk, I realize that all my notions and nuggets of doctrinal knowledge and theological insights, be they well informed or under-informed, are overshadowed by the love that Christ seeks to show others through me. “…whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

My desire was so strong to grow in knowledge that I forgot to grow in grace. What mattered was who was doctrinally in and who was out. I let knowledge divide. Or rather my preferences based on knowledge. The Roman Christians did similar things. Don’t let such things divide your congregations, said Paul. Who are we to judge? What day you choose for a special celebration does not matter. Or if you want to eat meat and another does not, don’t let this issue separate you. Don’t destroy one another based on your knowledge issues. Let’s face it: whatever we opt for in these areas of freedom, even “whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s” (Romans 14:8).

In the leading quote Paul says that he is persuaded that Jesus will look after what he has committed to him. What did he commit? What have we all committed? Our all is the answer. Our thoughts, our points of view, our knowledge. Everything. But sometimes our opinions, those special pieces of knowledge that we hold so precious, get in the way of love. They block the love. We get so puffed up by what we think we know that there is no space for tolerance. It is as if we have not committed fully to Christ, as if growing in knowledge has priority over growing in grace.

I like to think that I have committed my all to Christ. My understanding, my mind, my heart, but probably I still hold back something.

Jesus is the only certainty in my life.

Though I understand “all knowledge…but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).

Prayer

Lord, I know I don’t know everything, and that even the knowledge I have is nothing compared to the love that is in Christ Jesus. Help me to rest in Jesus and his love, and to commit my all to him.

Amen

Study by james.henderson@wcg.org

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