Of all the characteristics of Christ-Followers, the one that must certainly be the most basic is our topic for this week – “Lovers.” As a Christ-Follower, by definition I must be a lover of God, a lover of Christ, a lover of the Holy Spirit, and a lover of people. Our text for this week is very sobering to me…
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8)
What a powerful, incredible statement to make! I can know God’s law, all the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, the nuances of the Greek, and even memorize whole passages of Scripture, but if I don’t have love then I don’t know God! This is an interesting set of words to be juxtaposed in one sentence… “love” and “know.” When I think about what it means to “know”, I think about that which I can define, understand, study, describe with precision, and even verify through scientific endeavor. But when I think about love, I think about emotion, feelings, passion, motivation, and generally those things in life that defy definition. Love is a concept that is much more elusive, much more difficult to understand and know. In fact, some of the brightest people I know have very little understanding of love. It has been demonstrated that our IQ (the measure of our intellectual intelligence) is what gets us through school and perhaps even our first job. But it is our EQ (the measure of our emotional intelligence) that gets us promoted. Professional schools such as medical and dental are becoming much more interested in EQ than ever before. They have found that those with the highest EQ actually have a better chance of surviving the rigors of medical or dental school. Why would that be the case? I have been told that those who flunked out of the Loma Linda University School of Dentistry last year were those with the highest IQ! They had the highest test scores of the entire class and yet they flunked. It doesn’t make sense, or does it?
The Bible teaches us that love is the most important identifier of a Christ-Follower. Is it possible that without love we have no knowledge of God. Is it possible that our Biblical IQ could be off the charts, but we will flunk out without love? Is it possible that God is more interested in our EQ than our IQ? What are your thoughts about love versus knowledge? What is your experience regarding the importance of EQ and IQ in life?