The Roman Catholic priest, Henry Cole (1500–1580), summed up the spirit of the Dark Ages when he said, “Ignorance is the mother of devotion.” The Protestant Reformation lifted the lid of this dark ignorance and allowed the full and glorious light of gospel to shine through the pages of Scripture. When Paul prayed that “love might abound more and more in knowledge,” he understood that Christ-like love grows in the soil of knowledge. It is inquisitive; it wants to know. In order to love God we must know Him, and the more we know Him and know of Him the more we will love Him, for “all of Him is lovely” (Song of Solomon 5:16). But this is also true of our knowledge of our brothers and sisters in the church. Our love for them is also built on our knowledge of them. To love someone as Christ loves me, I must know him or her. I must inquire, I must be interested and seek to understand him or her. It is easy to judge and criticize from a distance; it is harder when you understand what makes that person who he or she is and do what he or she does. When we understand others, then we know how to love them as Christ does and pray for them rather than judge them, because love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
Reading: “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.”—Philippians 1:9–11