This past weekend MCA was totally blessed to receive the ministry of Greg Surratt of the Association of Related Churches and Seacoast Church. His teaching and presence among us pointed us to a triangle of life ministry: “Up, In, and Out.” At times in my life I have been a one dimensional disciple, only emphasizing “Up.” Ministry to God in worship was the only thing that mattered to me. Other times, I only placed emphasis upon reaching the world. Well rounded ministry, Greg taught, is three dimensional at all times.
Greg’s ministry reminded me of the humility knowledge demands. Over the years I have discovered that proud knowledge makes devils. In the Bible Paul teaches that knowledge puffs up. While, in my opinion, ignorance is bondage. How do we balance leaving a life of ignorance and moving into knowledge without becoming proud puff ups?
Knowledge demands humility for a variety of reasons. First, knowledge is something that one comes to know. It is therefore something that has come to you from another source. It isn’t your knowledge! Ultimately all truth is sourced in God. To be proud of your knowledge is theft of worship.
Second, to be proud of your knowledge is to become blind to your error. Everyone has blind spots. What do you see in your blind spot? NOTHING! Proud knowledge tends to cease the humility of learning. When I am proud that I know God, I will become blind to the infinite number of ways that I don’t know God.
Third, proud knowledge can not love. Pride can not, by definition, consider others better than themselves. Proud of your knowledge you expect others to come up to your level of knowledge prior to your willingness to love. It is ironic because “the greatest of these is love.” When proud of knowledge one becomes paralyzed from that which is greatest.
Several people in my experience have come to a place of huge disagreement with my theology. In fact disagreements don’t bother me. When they become proud of their superior knowledge and frustrated that ignorant Kent won’t adopt their views, they find themselves in a quandary of gigantic proportions. Their quandary? God expects, even demands, that they love me, but proud knowledge can only love that which agrees. They claim a superior knowledge of God, but then totally destroy that which the Bible declares is the very essence of knowing God. When proud of knowing God one discovers that pride is the chief indicator that one doesn’t know God.
Back to our tremendous weekend with Greg.
Greg, with vast experience, training, and revelation from God, ministered among us in humble service. He did not come to be served, but to serve. He did not show us our ignorance, he showed us where we could learn. He did not teach us his knowledge, but invited us to discover God’s knowledge.
He helped us rediscover the humility of leading learning lives.
By the way, if you are leading an awe inspiring three dimensional life, do so with humility.