BLOW UP OR BUILD UP? 1 Corinthians 8

Only one time I went fishing with my Dad.  I was 12.  We rented a rowboat, with a small outboard motor attached, plying slowly the bay waters of Ocean City, New Jersey.  Calm, sunny day with my Dad announcing that ‘if the fish were there, we’d catch ’em’.  The Fischer’s were there, the fish weren’t!

We did catch two, however.  Unfortunately, both were ‘blowfish’.  Barely edible.  Somewhat toxic.  When yanked into the rowboat, they’d puff up like they’re going to explode.  Big, round and prickly.  A face only its mother could love!  So, we gingerly toss them back.  The culmination of my angling days.

Those fish are what I think of when reading 1 Corinthians 8:1–‘Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.’  Paul is writing to a church with some members excessively proud of their erudition and mental masteries.  The ‘smart generation’ of its day.

Puffed up like blowfish.  Preening like peacocks.  Pausing at their reflection in any passing mirror.  Prancing around  to the beat of their own drums.

Don’t get me wrong.  Gain the best education.  Never stop learning.  Be inquisitive.  Interested and interesting.  But do so to build up yourself so you can help and encourage others.  ‘…love builds up.’

Be a builder.  Productive.  Talents at work– not only for yourself or your family.  Not exclusively for your church or pastor.  No.  Love builds up way beyond any four walls.

Leave something lasting for others.  Think about the consequences of your actions and decisions.  Not as a puffed-up blowfish…but a builder.  A giver much more than a taker.

Let me urge you to find out where you can build for others and the Lord.  Then, do it…and even more.  My task as well.  Why I’m writing these very words.

Get off yourself.  Give back.  Be for others…and for Jesus!

Lord, we want to be useful in your kingdom.  For Jesus’ sake.  Amen.


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