ADMITTING THAT I DON’T KNOW SOMETHING
Every prudent man acts with knowledge. Proverbs 13:16
“She’s blowing smoke.” “She’s full of hot air!” Both comments, when said about us, bring humiliation. It’s as if we’ve been exposed as imposters. The shame is profound and causes us to wonder, “Do we pretend to know what we have no knowledge of?”
No one likes a know-it-all. I know I don’t. No matter what the subject, he has to rise up to act like he’s an authority on the topic. Those who listen to him steal the floor and expound at length as if he’s been asked to ~ can usually tell if there’s real knowledge and experience behind his words. It’s pretty clear whether or not he’s credible or just likes to hear himself talk.
While I may not like these traits in another, I am still tempted to do it myself. That’s the irony. Why do I engage in behavior that turns me off in other people? Because I want to look good. I want to be respected. I believe that if I don’t know something others expect me to know, I will be discredited. David said, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Ps. 111:10 Reading this verse, I might be tempted to think that if I draw close to God, I will be filled with knowledge and never lack for an answer. Actually, the opposite is true.
Wisdom encompasses more than just knowledge. Fearing the Lord means I’m in awe of Him, not of myself. I am free to walk in humility and gather information from others. When discussing things out of my realm of experience, I can sit on the sidelines, learn, and listen without feeling threatened. I can ask questions and admit what I don’t know. Don’t I like it when others ask questions of me? Why can’t I see that asking them of others makes them feel good.
The nature of a child is to ask questions. Jesus told us that if we want to know the secrets of the kingdom, we must come to Him as children. I remember well the days when my two children were toddlers. The “why” questions were often relentless but that’s how they learned. I didn’t hold it against them.
It is a credit to my faith in God to incorporate questions into my interactions with others. “Could you explain that further? I don’t understand it yet.” “You ask a good question but I don’t know the answer. Maybe I can find it though.” Such statements actually make others more secure with us. They know we’re being straight and can be trusted. To grow, I have to admit what I’ve not yet learned.
Lord, what You’re really saying is that faking it is deceiving others. Lying is sin. Deliver me from such bents. I want to be authentic before You and before those around me. I want to be a person others can trust. In Jesus’ name, Amen