I know, as a pastor, (the person whose supposed to know everything about everything, right?) the most freeing words I discovered were, “I dunno.” Of course it’s important to add to that response, “…but, I will look into that.”
Of course I then need to look into the question, right? Otherwise it was a cheap “blow-off.” And, as much as is possible, I do some research. I also make sure I get back to the questioner. If I can’t come up with a helpful response…I tell them.
[Otherwise, they end up feeling like I de-valued them. No good.]
Learning New Stuff Is A Good Thing
I want to address what I’ve discovered about the “need to know all things,” but first I want encourage you to be a learner. Be thirsty to discover new things. Being stuck in the cement vault of one’s long established personal opinions becomes corrosive to one’s soul. Get out of the vault into the fresh air of discovery. It may be scary sometimes, but it’s oh so rewarding.
Too many folks are afraid they will loose their faith if they listen (really listen) to opposing or different view points. But, that’s unfounded fear.
As I’ve opened the ears of my heart to others, I’ve actually developed a new authenticity to my own foundation of faith.
The Need To Know All Things
The need to know all things is typically demonstrated by these two areas:
- The inner resistance to admitting that you don’t know an answer to something.
- Making up stuff. In other words, giving an off the cuff lame answer, or repeating someone else’s lame answer that sounds spiritual but has no real scriptural evidence. [There’s a lot of that flowing around].
Not Having To Know Brings Peace
Here’s the deal…
- God knows you don’t know everything about everything. And, if He knows that already, then He isn’t expecting you to come up with every answer. And, when you can’t, and admit it, He’s not disappointed in you. He never appointed you or I as geniuses of the universe, therefore, it would be impossible for Him to be disappointed.
- He also knows you do know some things. If you’ll trust Him to do so, He’ll arrange circumstances where you can rub shoulders with people that will help you make new discoveries, and that you can help as well. It’s called “community.” And Father God is very big on community.
- Learn new things, and when necessary find them in books.
- Approach life hunger and thirsty to learn. Jesus said, “He who hungers and thirsts for righteousness will be satisfied.” (Matt. 5:6)
I’ve discovered the freedom of not having to know everything. I’ve discovered the joy found in learning. I recommend that kind of freedom and joy. It’s some of the best “food on the menu.”