Summary: Paul is not knocking the love of the Philippians. Kindergarten love is not bad, but it is no place to level off and be content. A child who does not progress beyond kindergarten is greatly handicapped, and so is the Christian whose love does not abound more and more in knowledge.
The best of Christians make their share of mistakes, but John
Turner was apparently trying to get a large portion of his quota of
mistakes out of the way all in one day. John was a conscientious
pastor who got to his church early one Sunday morning, and he
discovered that he had left his sermon notes at home. He thought it
was no problem. There was plenty of time to correct his first
mistake of the day. But when he got home, he discovered his second
mistake. He had left his notes on the table right where his 18 month
old daughter eats breakfast. The notes were sopping wet from a
glass she had turned over. It was no problem he thought, for he
could wipe them dry in time. The words were blurred somewhat,
but still readable.
He finally left for church as he corrected his second mistake of
the day, and all was still under control. Out of the house he
bounded with all he needed, except for one thing. He left his car
keys in the house, and also the key to the house on the same key
chain. Mistake number three was staring him in the face. He didn't
have time for mistake number 3. Church was about to begin and he
was several miles away locked out of his house, and with no keys to
the car, and his family had already gone to church.
Desperation drives one to desperate measures. They had a dog's
door on the bottom of their back door that led to the back yard. It
was for the dog to be able to come and go, especially to go. Pastor
Turner was not so proud that he would not lower himself to getting
into his house by Woofy's door. He shed his suit coat, and got on his
knees and proceeded to squirm into mistake number 4. He was
bigger than the dog, and when he got half way in he was stuck, and
could not move either way. There he was half in and half out, and
his congregation was probably already singing, "Stand up, Stand up
His dog was deeply impressed with the new game, and was
licking his face the whole time. It seemed like an eternity that he
was stuck there, but he finally was able to twist around and reach
the door knob. He even eventually got to church, but due to his
lateness he had to share the whole embarrassing story of his comedy
of errors. His experience proves that reality can be funnier than
fiction, and that there is always room for improvement in our lives
as Christians. And not just in the trivialities of where we put our
notes and keys, but in the tremendous areas of life like what do we
do with our love?
Is it possible to ever make mistakes with our love, and follow up
life with a poor use of the highest of all virtues? If not, why would
Paul pray that the love of the Philippians would abound more and
more in knowledge, and depth of insight, so they could discern what
is best. The implication is that love can lack knowledge, and when it
does it can chose what is less than the best. In other words,
uneducated love can make foolish choices.
J. Vernon McGee in his famous Through The Bible Series tells of
when he first became a pastor of a church in downtown Los Angeles.
He did not know that there were people who loved to see new
preachers come into the area, for they tended to be such suckers.
One Sunday morning a man came forward in the service, and he
refused to talk to anyone but the pastor. The personal worker told
pastor McGee, and the pastor showed the man the way of salvation.
He was so interested that tears came to his eyes. He got on his knees
and prayed the sinner's prayer. Then he told pastor McGee that he
needed money to get his suitcase out of a hotel. They were holding it
until he paid for his room. McGee felt obligated to help him out and
so he gave him the money for the hotel. He felt good about being
such a Good Samaritan. But then, six weeks later, he saw the man's
picture in the paper. He had been arrested. The article told of how
he had been living for six months off the preachers of the city. His
comment was, "They are the biggest saps in the world." McGee
knew he was one of them, and he learned quickly that love has to be
discerning, or it can be used for folly.
McGee focused on this verse for his own life, and he wrote, "Paul