1 Corinthians 12:1-11
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.”
Paul opens his instruction on spiritual gifts with a significant statement, “I do not want you to be uninformed.” This simple verse shares an important truth; understanding is important to the Christian faith. In Paul’s time there were a number of small religious groups that historians refer to as “mystery religions.” These groups promised religious experiences shrouded in secrecy and often promised secret knowledge that could dramatically change one’s life. Think secret handshakes, exclusive clandestine meetings, and socially taboo practices. For these groups it was important to keep things in the shadows. Some in the ancient world mistook early Christianity as a “mystery religion” (eating the “body and blood” of Christ could seem socially taboo). However, a key difference is that Christianity is a faith of inclusion and understanding. We do not practice our faith in secret or through back-channels. God beckons us to live as “children of the light”. (1 Thessalonians 5:5) We are to be a people who seek understanding and who seek to share our understanding with others. Christians are called to learn with one another. We are called to learn from all of creation. (Job 12:7)
We live in a day and age where rumors, conspiracy theories, and “alternative facts” abound. As Christians we cannot be content with half-truths. While it may be easy to only hear those stories that confirm our bias we must strive for more. We are not called to solidify our opinions, we are called to a humility of heart that leads to a renewing of our mind. (Romans 12:2)
There is much we may never understand in this life, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying to learn and grow in wisdom. I am convinced that there is much that God desires for us to understand and apply.
“God help me to seek truth so that I might grow in compassion and love.”