Living What We Know
October 4, 2022
“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ” (Philippians 1:9-10, NIV).
My daughter is an oncology nurse. She is a really good oncology nurse. She knows a lot about some things and a little about others. She has a beautiful 70-pound, white goldendoodle, whose only health issue is occasional seizures. A few weeks ago, this dog she loves started gasping and jerking his neck. Her husband said, “He’s seizing again.” But my daughter is an oncology nurse, so she knew better. She said, “No, he’s choking!” She then grabbed the big dog under his arms and started the Heimlich maneuver. Finally, the dog quit jerking and bit her in his post-ictal state.
Some of us get it: “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Some of us don’t.
Some of us get it: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Some of us don’t.
Some of us get it: “I am the bread of life…” Some of us don’t.
Some of us get it: “If any man would come after me, he must deny himself….” Some of us don’t.
We are all at different levels of maturity in our knowledge of God and the way that knowledge translates into Christian living. Because we are so different, we sometimes become frustrated with ourselves or with others because so many of us understand so much so differently.
In his letter to the Philippians, Paul set a high goal for Christian understanding, and then he added: “Therefore, let all of us who are mature think this way. And if you think differently about anything, God will reveal this also to you. In any case, we should live up to whatever truth we have attained” (Philippians 3:15-16, CSB).
Paul knew that each of us is on a path toward knowing Christ, and he knew that each of us is at a different level of understanding. He strongly encourages us to grow in our knowledge, but he does not critique us based on the level of the knowledge we have attained. Instead, he says, “Whatever you know about Christ, live up to that.”
It’s not the accuracy of our theology that counts most in our living out the gospel, though we must continually grow in our knowledge of God through Christ. The measuring stick for our lives is this, “Am I living out fully that which I know?” If we do that, God’s grace will cover our incomplete knowledge, even if we perform Heimlich maneuvers on seizing dogs.
What has God made known to me through His Word and Spirit that I am not living out fully today?
Help me to know you, and know about you, and let me live out all the knowledge that you have provided me.