Knowing What We Don’t Know

If anyone thinks he knows anything, he does not yet know it as he ought to know it. – 1 Corinthians 8:2 (CSB)

Contextually, Paul is warning the Corinthians to not be flippant in their attitude toward idolatry and the impact it might have on fellow believers. Their presumptive attitude was not reflective of a love for God or others. His point goes beyond this example though.

Pride leads us all to believe we know more than we actually know. It’s why we pontificate on subjects we know little about even when we lack the basic facts. It’s why everyone else’s problems seem easily solved. But if we lack the humility to admit what we don’t know, if we are unwilling to learn and grow, if we assume we have the whole story without bothering to ask, everyone suffers. It impacts our parenting, our marriage, and our relationships. None of us have arrived. We have much to learn in every arena of life. Especially when it comes to God and the immeaurable depths of his grace and mercy toward sinners like us.

When “Smart” Is Dumb

The more you know and learn theologically, the more likely you are to become an elder brother. I’ve noticed this disturbing trend in others and I see it in myself as well. As knowledge increases, It becomes easier to look down on others who haven’t worked through the same issues as you. You become impatient with people who ask the same basic questions over and over. You are critical of those who offer overly simplistic answers that you know can’t be defended and were imparted to them by well-meaning pastors or believers.

Jesus had harsh words for the religious know-it-alls. I’d prefer he not have harsh words for me. That’s why I need to to remember that sometimes it doesn’t pay to be “smarter.”