Unfortunately I will never know all there is about physiology or nutrition no matter how many years I study! But that’s what’s so awesome about it; there is so much left to learn! The more I learn about it, the more vibrant, alive and knowledgeable my life becomes.
So why is it when I meet others who profess to know all about certain subjects, like Christian doctrine, do I tend to bristle? I don’t like it when others rub me the wrong way. I become critical and that’s not what God wants.
As in most aspects of my life, a Bible verse will come to my mind to bring thoughts into perspective and clarify the situation. All of a sudden I realized why it bugged me: it’s about attitude!
Let me relate two different scenarios.
I spoke at a lovely women’s Bible group last week. It was such a blessing! Even more so as one guest was an experienced nurse, very knowledgeable about nutrition. During my two hour conference she smiled encouraging and nodded her head in agreement and afterwards expressed her thanks to me.
“I learned a lot today,” she told me as she gave me a hug.
“That’s a relief,” I confessed. “Of all those present, you had so many years of training that I was sure you might have disagreed with something I said. It kept me on my toes!”
“Oh no, there is always something new to learn.”
Attending another Christian session this past week, a man in the audience took over the forum, nearly monopolizing the conversation by conveying how much he knew on the speaker’s subject. Later, very few asked questions and it wasn’t difficult to understand why. They were held hostage by fear. What if that same individual embarrassed them for their “naïve” opinion? How could anyone feel comfortable around someone who projected they knew everything already?
Reminder: There is actually only One who knows ALL and that is our All-Knowing God. For even Jesus stated that he didn’t know when the end time would occur:
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” (Mark 13:32)
So perhaps this is what irks me: Jesus was a humble man. “Know it all’s” act like pompous mini-gods. False gods can entice others away from the Truth if they profess their own truth. Just look at the Jim Jones or Heaven’s Gate cult. Remember we must test the spirits as commanded by 1 John 4:1.
Second, growing up poor, I hate waste. Sadly it’s a waste of one’s spiritual gift of knowledge to scare others away from seeking it. Attendees probably had a few provocative questions but failed to ask them. The Pharisee (Luke 18: 9-14) bragged to God that he was so grateful he wasn’t like that despicable tax collector over there. All the while the tax collector humbly prayed, “Have mercy on me oh Lord, a sinner.” The Pharisee with all his knowledge wasn’t useful to God! He already knew everything! But did he use that knowledge beneficially? Did he offer to pray with the tax collector? Help others? Use his knowledge for good? No.
Compassion is universal. We can’t bless others by putting them down! Knowledge and wisdom are different. Knowledge consists of facts. Wisdom discerns where and how to use those facts. May our words always be a blessing and constructive to others.
“But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption” ( 1 Corinthians 1:30)