We live in a world bursting with an ever increasing resource of knowledge. There are websites and blogs and books and papers and specialists and researchers. They all seek to inform us with all they know, or think they know. Personally I find it a bit overwhelming; it makes my head spin with information overload!
But lots of people are set on gaining knowledge because the world’s wisdom is that the more knowledge you have the better. They reason that if you acquire knowledge you will be better equipped to deal with all the situations that the modern world will throw at you. With knowledge you are better able to control your own destiny. With knowledge you can impress others and gain significance. But is this the sort of knowledge which is spoken of in our scripture today?
The knowledge that Peter is talking about here clearly flows from the development of a virtuous character - a character which is increasingly righteous and truth-filled. Godly wisdom will naturally flow out of it. I’m so glad this isn’t the head knowledge of the world which so easily overwhelms me. It’s heart knowledge, which flows to us when we’re close to God. It comes from being in close contact with Him. That’s when His wisdom and revelation can rub off on us.
This isn’t knowledge grasped to impress others or used to gain control. No, it’s a knowledge which leads to us understanding and trusting God more each day. It’s a knowledge which gives us more and more peace, not stress and headaches! It leads to godly self control, and, eventually, a fully developed godliness. We will be people who are filled with His truth and love.
Just recently I read this comment penned by Bernard of Clairvaux in the 12th Century:
‘There are those who seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge; that is curiosity.
There are those who seek knowledge to be known by others; that is vanity.
There are those who seek knowledge in order to serve; that is love’.
I think Bernard sums it up perfectly and I for one will let all the information overload pass me by today. Instead I shall turn my heart to seek the knowledge of God and His perfect love.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, in this information-laden world in which I live, I ask You to help me remember that seeking You and Your ways is more important than seeking to gain excess knowledge in my head. Lord Jesus, I ask You to keep me from using what I know to impress others who may know less than me, or from using it to gain control over them. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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