Knowledge and Love—How do they Connect?
This week a read a verse that has had me thinking, “that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight”. This bible verse is in Philippines 1:9, and there is a lot more context included, but that little line has had me thinking.
For, as I understand it, we can display love through the knowledge we have and the depth of insight that we apply. The link between love and knowledge really was the thought provoker. As a teacher, I had a strong awareness that many people, myself included, have a love of knowledge and obtaining knowledge of many different things. Also what we love, will most often determine what we acquire knowledge of and about. So somebody that loves cars will learn everything they can about cars or similarly, the person that loves football will know all rules, the positions the players and event the history of the sport.
However, I think that this verse is also stating that our knowledge and depth of insight should also be used in a manner that displays our love. By this I mean, that if we love cars and know everything about how they work and run, do we use this knowledge for purely our own benefit or sake or do we allow ourselves to find avenues to display our knowledge in a loving way? It really makes me as a teacher question what I do with the knowledge that I may facilitate students gaining. Do I just help them gain the knowledge and apply the knowledge to ace a test or give them something more than the next student? Or do I always lead them and encourage them to apply and use their knowledge to demonstrate love?
I think that the most damaging way to consider knowledge and insight is as a power trip. How many people just want to gain knowledge or things or people so that they have power over a situation or another person? This is apparent in our everyday lives, but I’m also asking myself the question do I teach in a way that allows for knowledge to be loving or power trip based? This becomes a significant feature for teachers where the emphasis is for marks and the ranking of a student at all times. Am I continually encouraging the quest for knowledge just to “beat” the next person?
Empowering students to access and impact their world has always been a key motivator in my teaching. However, I’m now thinking that my emphasis needs to move more towards the “impacting”. My challenge is to inspire students to want to use whatever knowledge and insight they gain through learning to demonstrate love to those around them and in the broader community. Just imagine if we had a whole generation not viewing knowledge as personal power, but social and globally impacting power!!