We like to think we know what’s best. For others, for our employer, our friends, our community, our family – and especially for ourselves. The problem with this attitude is when it’s adopted by people who claim there is a perfect divine being.
These two beliefs clash pretty hard: that I know what’s best; that God knows all and is good.
We can’t have it both ways.
Either we always know what’s best for us – or God is all-knowing and loving.
Either he allows things that we don’t like because they can be used for good – or we see correctly and some things are just a complete waste.
Either I can see the future – or my ideas are sometimes (often/usually/always…) going to be wrong about potential future outcomes.
There are so many things that have happened in my life, where I look at them and think “it’s OBVIOUS what’s the best choice here.”
That move I just know would be best for our family. That relationship that I can clearly see was the best. I think I can clearly see the best potential outcome – and it didn’t happen – and now I’m mad (or at least disappointed).
I’m not even talking about hard/bad/painful things that we can learn from. Like something horrible happens but you become more humble, or depend on God more because of it (we’ll address that in a future newsletter).
Right now I’m only talking about those times when there are two possible outcomes, and I can CLEARLY SEE which one is better.
When it doesn’t happen- I’m upset.
However, this means I started from the assumption that I know what’s best. That I can see every potential outcome. That I know how that other option would have played out.
There have been plenty of times in my life where something didn’t (or did) happen – and I get so upset because CLEARLY, it’s the wrong thing. Then a few days, or months, or years (or minutes) go by, and I realize that I had no idea how the situation would play out.
At the time it’s hard to admit the outcome I think is best may not be the best. But that’s only because of my pride. I don’t like to think that I don’t know best. Especially when it’s something really important, and emotionally charged, and personal.
I need to – at the time – just remember how much I really know. How limited my understanding is. How being bound in time and space gives me a completely different viewpoint.
And that’s what I need to remember to do a lot more.
Constantly being upset because what I want isn’t happening – is going to lead to a whole lot of discontentment.
Job 38:1-42:6 is one of my favorite passages in all of scriptures (which probably says something about me)
The way I read it – Job starts to complain to God about things going down in a way that Job doesn’t think is best.
God responds with (and I’m paraphrasing here): “Do you have any idea who I am? I made the earth. I created the universe. I exist in eternity. Are you now coming to me to tell me that i messed up?!”
Think about the last think you REALLY, STONGLY felt like you knew exactly what’s best. And it didn’t go down that way. Imagine complaining to God about it, and read even Job 41:-42:6.
Hopefully it helps put your own knowledge in perspective, and allows you to sit contently in the reality that God knows more than you, and wants good for you.
God of all knowledge
It’s hard to admit you know more than me,
that you have things in store for me that I can’t even imagine.
God of all loveIt’s hard to remember that you love me better than I love myself,
and that you want better things for me than I know of.
Give me humility to trust you are actually in control.
Give me humility to believe you do love me.