Sharing Knowledge with Love
By Rosemary Flaaten –
Envision two ordinary fish swimming side by side, fins gently brushing each other. Suddenly, one of them begins to enlarge, filling its abdominal cavity with water until it becomes four times its normal size. Then, it sprouts poisonous barbs which project into its swimming partner. This ‘puffer fish’ is now a lethal enemy to all it would contact.
Knowledge can have a ‘puffer fish-like’ effect on each of us. As we grow older, developing in our careers and gathering experience, we also grow in knowledge. But do we use this ability to push others away? In our circle of relationships do we flaunt our knowledge to look more important? Do we have a self-inflated importance, diminishing others in our eyes or even deflating them in their own? Our motivation for gaining knowledge and how we use it has the potential for harm. If we increase in knowledge so that we lord it over others, surging in self-importance, knowledge becomes a weapon rather than a helpful tool.
Love, on the other hand, cannot harm. Love is pure, never self-seeking or inflammatory. Love builds up others rather than puffing up ourselves.
Knowledge is not evil, rather it is an essential step towards wisdom. In our jobs, for example, it is necessary to increase our knowledge so that we can become better skilled and more efficient. However, do we combine that increased knowledge with love so that others may succeed as well? Do we use it to help others, building them up and providing a safe learning environment?
The question becomes what do we do with such knowledge? Do we hoard it or flaunt it, or do we share it with love? Being filled with love will never prove to be dangerous. The Apostle Paul summed it up this way: “…to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19 NIV).
Be a fish that is safe to swim with–let your knowledge be puffed up with love.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to add love to my shared learning so that others can be built up.
“Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1, NIV).