"We know we all possess knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up."
I Corinthians 8:1(NIV)
Whether we are young or old, rich or poor, christian or non-christian, we all have knowledge of some sorts. Some of us are book smart, others of us creative, common sense, or street smarts.
I'm not a good test-taker, but I love learning and listening to lectures and talks on subjects. No one would argue that knowledge is a bad thing, but it actually can be if that knowledge we gain is not used, if it is abused, or if it is used with ill, wrong, or ignorant motives.
I preached a sermon once on knowledge and I used this scripture reference. Paul was talking to the Corinth Christians about food sacrificed to idols, but His point about knowledge is universal in any situation. Knowledge makes some people PUFF up. We may call it a "big head", "know it all", "arrogrant", "cocky", "domineering", "controllling", it can be alot of things, but the point is if we are not careful, our pursuit to gain knowledge can make each of us PUFF up.
The point of knowledge is to GROW, MATURE, LEARN, APPLY, and in the case of gaining knowledge of GOD it is to cause us to LOVE more, deeper, better, and LOVE with wisdom and understanding.
Becoming a Christian and growing in your knowledge of God and His WORD (The Bible) should not make us arrogant, ungrateful, or make our head so PUFFED up that it's our ego we're feeding and not our soul. Our knoweldge of God should bring Him Glory, not bring it to ourselves.
You know the old cliche, "People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care", it's true. You can't expect to influence people, if you don't care about them. You can't touch lives if you aren't willing to listen. You can't be effective in sharing your faith if you are more concerned with "being right", "proving others wrong", or "looking Holy". There is a big difference in striving to be Holy as God is Holy and looking Holy.
I will be the first to tell you I don't know it all. I am sometimes wrong, I don't always have the right answers, and I sometimes am ignorant of biblical things, but I'm learning, I'm growing, and I'm striving everyday to know God better and know His word better.
Our challenge should be to gain knowledge of God, learn His ways, seek His will, and gain wisdom and understanding from His Word, but we should always keep in mind and heart, that is' not about us being smart, looking good, or even about us in anyway, it's about God. It's about His Love for Us. As you gain knowledge of God and His Word, let His LOVE, His GRACE, His MERCY, and His SPIRIT guide your heart, straighten your paths, and lead you closer to Him and in the process I think your life will be changed and God will use you to change others.