It’s hard to keep a straight face when you encounter someone who acts like a know it all. Especially, if it’s a young’un. Urbandictionary.com defines a know it all as “one who makes it appear as if they’re an expert on a subject while there are also signals that this person doesn’t know very much on the subject.”
John Eldridge writes, “The idea that eighteen-year-olds have some grasp on who they are and what they ought to do for the rest of their lives is madness.” Some of us have never grown up, and some of us had no choice.
When Joni Eareckson Tara broke her neck in a diving accident at the age of 17, she admits she had to grow up fast. When she was originally hospitalized, she prayed the following prayer at night: “God, if I can’t die, show me how to live, please!” God heard that prayer. She is now 69 years of age. Despite being wheelchair bound and paralyzed from the neck down, she speaks all over the world, writes books and paints with her mouth. Unfortunately, Joni has had folks come up to her and say, “You just need to pray more, so you will be healed.”
Those same types of people can be found in the Bible. Consider Job’s three friends: Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad. They were the epitome of being haughty, pompous, and presumptuous. They each had an explanation why Job suffered, losing his 10 children, his health and all of his wealth. In their “know it all” rationale, they believed that Job’s suffering was God’s punishment for his sin, that God doesn’t allow anyone to suffer innocently, and that Job just needed to repent and ask for mercy. But they were wrong, and God heard their judgmental advice. He responded, “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about Me, as my servant Job has.” (Job 42:7b, NLT)
At the end of the day, only God knows what you and I have been through on our unique journeys. As the group For King and Country sings:
“God only knows what you’ve been through. God only knows what they say about you. God only knows how it’s killing you. But there’s a kind of love that God only knows.”
There’ll always be those who know “about” God, who are quick to pass judgment. They may even attend church perfectly. Then there are those who know God intimately. As Robert McGee said, “Consider the analogy of a wedding: An engaged couple may intellectually know they want to marry each other, and probably feel very close to one another, but until they willfully say, “I do” to each other, they are not married. Many people are at this point in their relationship with Christ. They need to say, I do to Him.”
I am the biggest fool in the universe if I stay away from the God who is Omniscient, or All-Knowing. God only knows.