1 Corinthians 13:2, Part 1

 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2, NIV)

I used to be a mystery TV/movie junkie.  I would watch show after show of someone getting murdered and someone trying to figure out who did it.  In most movies and shows, the directors try to trick you with all kinds of misleading clues, by who they feature as suspects, by camera angles, etc.

Even as a kid, I loved mysteries.  I had mystery books and mystery series: mysteries where girls solved the cases, where boys solved the cases, where dogs solved the mystery, and where mice–yes, even mice–solved the mystery.

What is it about mysteries that captures our attention?  Isn’t it our pride?

After all, we want to be the one to solve the mysteryAnd we want to solve it first, before anyone else does, including Aunt Doris who is the best mystery solver we know.  We want to have bragging rights that we figured the mystery out in a mere 5 minutes of the show, that we hadn’t even finished our first tub of popcorn at the theater before we knew ‘who done it’.

But . . you know what?

No one is going to stand before God on Judgment Day and proudly announce, “Do you remember that Nancy Drew mystery that none of my classmates could solve?  I figured it out after the first chapter.”

All right, you may say, I follow so far.  But then it gets harder.

No one is going to stand before God on Judgment Day and proudly announce that (s)he solved any mystery.

Did you figure out end-times eschatology?  It’s not going to impress God.

Did you invent a new rocket fuel and travel to Mars in 5 minutes?  God is not amazed.

Did you find a way for cars to run on soda pop instead of gasoline?  Nope, won’t impress God.

Did you come up with a cure for a disease?  You know what?  That, in itself, still won’t impress God.

What!?!  Why??

Because, if you didn’t do it for love, it doesn’t count to your credit.  If you found a cure so you could create a patent pharmaceutical and make millions, that doesn’t impress God.  If you found a cure so you could win the Nobel Peace Prize, that doesn’t impress God, either.

Knowledge is knowing.  It doesn’t say what you did with the knowledge, or why you did what you did.  It just says you knew.

Can knowledge help others?  Not in and of itself.  If you know a way to diffuse nuclear bombs from a thousand miles away, but you never share that knowledge–or if you use that knowledge for selfish ambition–you haven’t done anything majestic at all.  Knowledge, in and of itself, is not wow.

We put a high rank on knowing in this world.  We frame our diplomas, buy graduation rings, and call each other by titles based on what we “know”.  In some countries, knowledge is the focus of life.  In India, for example, such a high value is placed on knowledge that a high school student who fails his exam is at risk for committing suicide.

But do you know what?  Knowledge doesn’t say anything about the nature of who we are in our heart.

God has knowledge of good and evil, but He is only good.

Satan has knowledge of good and evil, but he is only evil.

Knowledge is what is in our mind, but it is our hearts that tell us what do with it.

 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:2, NIV)

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