The Know-It-All (Or how I’m learning humility from a child)

I’m pretty sure that in any context, in any walk of life, the person that annoys me the most is a know-it-all. Most recently this has taken the form of a child that has entered our home. They want to argue about everything and present ridiculous and incorrect statements as if they were chiselled in stone.

And it’s annoying sure, but it’s also sad. They have such a limited perspective that has no room for adjustment or a recognition of how they just maybe might possibly not be correct. Their world is so small and I want to just yell at them “No, you don’t know everything! You know almost NOTHING!” So yes, that’s something for me and my wife to work on with this child.

But the thing that really hit home with me about this whole know-it-all thing was how often I act this way with God. I have an incredibly limited view when compared with the creator of the universe and yet I have no qualms about arguing with him about how things “should” be or what He “needs” to be doing. As if He needs my advice…but instead of praying and asking what God wants from me, where I can adjust my life to His will, and how I can serve Him I tell Him what I want and what I think.

Look, it isn’t easy to see all the stuff going on in the world and in lives around me (heck, even my own life) and to not think that I could do a better job. But then I remember how small and insignificant and sinful and limited and everything else that I am and realize that maybe I should let God be God and go ahead and just get to the work of living my life trying to glorify Him. After all, Job questioned God about a few things and it didn’t really go so well for him, so maybe I’ll just leave well enough alone.¹

So I’ve come to realization that maybe know-it-alls bother me so much because they simply remind me of…well, me.

 

 

  1. Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

    “Dress for action like a man;
        I will question you, and you make it known to me.
    Will you even put me in the wrong?
        Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?
    Have you an arm like God,
        and can you thunder with a voice like his?

    – Job 40:6-9

Why? (Or things that a 4 year-old is teaching me about my relationship to God)

whyMy wife and I recently welcomed a 4 year old foster child into our home. It’s been an adjustment for all of us, but the biggest thing we’ve had to get used to is the questions.  The constant questions.  Of why?

Why?

Why?

Why?

Everything is why? Why this, why that, why is it raining, why isn’t it raining, why?

So the other day, in the middle of a why chain, my wife looks at me and says, “Do you think we sound this way to God?”

And you know what? I think she’s right. Far too often I find myself asking God why.  And I think it is a legitimate question, but I think that sometimes I sound like a four year-old to God. Why? Why didn’t I get that job? Why did my friend get cancer? Why do I have to do this? Why can’t I do that? And then my questioning of God becomes something more than just questioning, it becomes idolatry.

Idolatry?

When I’m questioning God about everything, mostly I think it’s because I think I know better than God, and when that’s the case, I’m telling Him that I should be god and not Him, and that’s idolatry. So questions of why are fine, but they should be firmly grounded in a view of God’s sovereignty and trust in His goodness.  The road may not always be easy and I likely won’t always understand, but this I do know, I can trust God with my life.  He’ll never fail me, even when I don’t understand.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

– Isaiah 55:8-9