Have you ever felt truly loved and known after receiving a particular gift? Have you ever felt unloved and unknown even though given a gift? While it’s true that some of the best gifts are handmade, the truly best gifts are those that are timely and fit who we are, because they were given out of love and according to knowledge and not simply out of duty or expectation. One of the keys to loving is knowing.
“To be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known…” —Chris Kinsley and Drew Francis in “The Woman at the Well”
3Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: 4And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. —Proverbs 24:3, 4
If wisdom is the right application of knowledge, then knowledge without application must be foolishness. And even more foolish still is to have the knowledge available but never take advantage of it.
“Knowledge without wisdom is a load of books on the back of an ass.” —Japanese proverb
“[The] opposite of love is not hate. The opposite of love is apathy. Love and hate both engage the emotions. Apathy demonstrates a lack of concern.” —BJ in The River Walk: Weeping and Laughing
When you fall in love, don’t you want to know everything about that person? Don’t you want to spend as much time as possible with them? Don’t you try to think of ways to make them smile? In order to do that, you have to spend time with them and learn to know what would make them smile, right?
“Nothing is desired that is not known.” —Latin proverb
“There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.” —Russian proverb
“Lack of knowledge is darker than night.” —Hausan proverb
With today being Christmas, Jesus’ birthday, people sometimes wonder what they can possibly give Him as a birthday present. The Westminster catechism based on several verses from the Bible says that the chief purpose of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. Don’t you enjoy people who enjoy being with you? Part of the reason Jesus became a man was so we could know and understand God better. He came to demonstrate His love for us and invites us to live with Him.
“Come live with me and you’ll know me.” —Spanish proverb
“Knowing about Him is a necessary precondition of trusting in Him, but the width of our knowledge about Him is no gauge of our knowledge of Him.” —J.I. Packer
“Christianity is not an action; it is a reaction. The Bible is not a list of requirements, but a list of results after experiencing God’s love.” —Peter Haas, pastor in his sermon Pharisectomy Part 2 – Joy Driven Christianity
The apostle Paul, who had a list of religious credentials, wrote in his letter to the Philippians that he counted everything as loss and even as poop in comparison to really knowing Jesus. Because Paul had had an encounter with Him and experienced His mercy, grace and love, Paul had a desire to know Him more.
Since Christmas is really about the birth of Christ, the best way to have a truly merry Christmas is to find peace with it. Usually the best way to find peace with something is to understand it, and to understand we first need to learn and gain knowledge. So the best gift we can give Jesus, as well as others and ourselves, is to seek to know Him. And if we already know Him, seek to know Him more.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!