Have you ever met someone who truly believes they are the wisest person they know? I have a feeling that just by asking that question someone’s face popped into your head. I have known several, and not to boast, but there is no way they are as wise as me!
Okay, I’m kidding. I’ll freely admit to you that there is a lot I have yet to learn. Sure I’ve learned a lot so far in my life on this earth, but the more I learn the more I realize just how much there is to know.
One of the guys that came to mind for me, knew everything about everything and could do it all to perfection. No matter what topic you brought up, he would be an expert and master of the craft. If you brought up any sport, he knew everything there was to know and could beat you at it. If you brought up any art form, he knew all about it and could perform it better than you. Public speaking, leadership, business, teaching…you name it he was the expert on it all.
Except that he wasn’t. And everyone could see it but him. I remember hearing another coworker say once when a topic came up that we didn’t know much about, “Ask so and so, he probably knows. And if he doesn’t, he’ll make you believe he does.”
This is what happens when we over estimate our own understanding. We become blinded by what we think we know and start to believe we actually know all that we think we know. Then we will no longer ask questions, but we will always have an answer. It may not be right, but we will have one.
The thing is, like I mentioned, people can always tell when you don’t really know all that you say you know. Especially when they know a little (or a lot!) about the topic and you don’t but you pretend to. I’ve been in this situation from time to time. I’ve asked someone what they think about something or how they would do something. And in hopes to get an unbiased answer I don’t preface the conversation with the fact that I already have some knowledge. Sometimes, I get something new. Other times I get something I already know. But there have been times when the person just makes something up to sound smart, and they’re flat out wrong!
Don’t be that person. Don’t be wise in your own estimation. Instead, fear the Lord – the giver of wisdom. Turn away from evil.
7 Do not be wise in your own estimation;
fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
8 This will bring healing to your body,
and refreshment to your inner self.
Have you ever been caught in a lie? It can be exhausting. When you have to constantly be on the ready for defending a lie, it wears on you and your body. And when you’re pretending to know everything, you really have to always be ready to come up with some kind of answer.
Try this on for size, tell the truth. If you don’t know, say “I don’t know.” It’s okay to not know something. It really, really is. Even Google doesn’t know everything. And that’s the collective information of the entire world!
I have a feeling this is the kind of healing and refreshment this passage is talking about. The kind you can only get from relief. Even better than the plop and fizz kind. This is the kind where you can finally relax because you can let your guard down. It must be absolutely refreshing to be able to let all that stress go and just be you. Be who God made you to be. Be just as smart and wise as you are, and seek God for the rest. Plop. Fizz. Wisdom.