Know it Alls, Don’t Know it All
Have you ever met someone who not only has an opinion about everything, but believes their opinion is right? Always! All the time! I have too and when they are Christians, it makes it even more annoying.
The following scripture really says it. “Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn’t really know very much.” (1 Corinthians 8:2). What this is saying is know it alls are actually deceived. They believe they have all the answers, but God says they don’t know much.
There are other dangers about being a know it all. One of them is called pride. When a person is prideful, they don’t have God’s approval. “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble” (James 4:6). Notice that this verse is talking to believers. Later on James says that God won’t draw near to you. So pride can actually alienate us from the Lord.
Now let me clarify. We are still believers. It is not that He is rejecting us, but God can’t be intimate with us, because of our pride and stubbornness.
Another problem with know it alls, is that they are arrogantly confident about the future. They presume that they know how everything is going to turn out. They have faith, but misplaced faith. This is where you say something is going to happen, but really haven’t checked it out with the Lord. As a result wrong decisions can be made.
James 4:13-16 addresses this issue. “Look here you people who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog – it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.”
This concept is also found in the story of the children of Israel’s conquest of The Holy Land. God did tell them that the land was theirs, but they had to seek Him about specifics for the battles ahead.
In the initial battle they defeat Jericho. God, though, warned them not to take certain spoils for themselves, but to give it to the Lord. A man name Achan steals some items and God is very angry at the Israelites. When deciding to fight the people of the next town, Ai, God’s people get somewhat cavalier. In Joshua 7:3 the report from the spies who were sent out says, “When they returned, they told Joshua, ‘it’s a small town, and it won’t take more than two or three thousand of us to destroy it. There’s no need for all of us go there.’”
Guess what? They are completely routed by the enemy. It causes them to question why they are in the land. Joshua and the leaders tear their clothes in worship and humility and ask the Lord what is going on. God says that Israel has sinned and that is why this is happening. All of this could have been avoided if Israel humbly sought the Lord. A valuable lesson indeed!
Another dangerous thing about know it alls is they can lead others to think in their manner. In other words disciples can be made, but not Jesus type disciples. This is what Proverbs 10:17 states. “People who accept correction are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore it will lead others astray.” Accepting correction is a humble person who knows they don’t know it all. People who don’t accept correction have that know it all spirit.
Another type of know it all are those who don’t necessarily express their opinion, but every time you share some insight, they always acknowledge that they know that already. It is like they have some cosmic understanding and are waiting for others to “get it.”
This is more subtle but no less prideful. In fact 1 Corinthians 13:12 says, “Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” Do you hear that line “all that I know now is partial and incomplete.” So if you say or believe you know it all, you are contradicting the Word of God.
Oh how we need that godly humility that says “only you Lord really knows it all.” I only know in part and even though I want to be certain, there will be a level of mystery. It is called faith. If it is faith then many times it is not certain.
I would rather live like that than have believers and non believers alike repulsed by my attitude of being a know it all. Being a Christian I follow Jesus and always, and I mean always, acknowledge that only He is all knowing.