As I sat across the table at Famous Dave’s from my friend Vic, I waited for a “lightning bolt” type of wise response… full of sound advice from a trusted friend. I had just shared about some things in my life that have me stumped, and I was looking forward to some life-changing wisdom from my brother. But none came. Instead, the only thing he said was, “I’m sorry, Darren. I wish I had the answers… but I don’t.” At first, I thought to myself, “I want my money back…”, but I hadn’t paid anything, he was paying for dinner, so… 🙂 But the more I thought on it, the more it made sense: why try to force wisdom when you really have nothing to say?
But so often we do that, don’t we? Whether it’s because we like to sound knowledgeable, or we want people to think we know more than we really do, or because WE want to think we know more than we really do (lol)… I don’t know. But there is nothing wrong with simply saying, “I don’t know. I’m sorry… I don’t have the answers. I have nothing to say.”
A truth that we (especially leaders) need to understand is that God is the only one with all the answers. Yes, He has given us wisdom and the ability to think through complex situations, to reason and discern and problem-solve… but the truth of the matter is that we don’t know it all. And that’s okay! There’s nothing wrong, when someone has come to us with questions and has poured their heart out to us, with saying, “I wish I had the answers… but I don’t.” There will be times when the Holy Spirit gives us mind-blowing wisdom to pass on to others in their time of need… but there will be other times where we simply have absolutely nothing to offer.
When we don’t try to steal God’s thunder and act like know-it-all’s, we’re then free to turn to Him who alone is infinite in wisdom. The thing that I really admire about Vic is his humility, and the fact that – even though he might not know – he knows Someone who does. Vic didn’t have answers… but he prayed with me that God would make His wisdom known. The apostle Paul said that in Christ “lie hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3).
We’re only human. We don’t know it all. So, let’s stop trying to act like we do, and point people to the One who does.
D Plum 😉