I bet you’ve had a similar experience. Recently, I was with a person who truly thought they knew it all. Any subject you could name? They knew something about it . . . or knew more than anyone else in the room regarding that subject/person/situation. Furthermore, this person was a card-carrying name-dropper. They knew who the most in-the-know person was in any setting mentioned during our group conversations and was on a first-name basis with them. Grrrrrr. Wasn’t it just last Friday that I wrote about ‘The High Cost of Anger?” (Click here for a review). Words that came to my mind to describe the person: unteachable, arrogant, irritating, puffed up, self-serving, etc.
A long list of Bible verses address that kind of attitude, particularly in the Book of Proverbs —
Proverbs 16:18 – ” Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 27:2 – “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.”
Proverbs 16:5 – “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.”
As the person droned on and on ad nauseum, I became aware of several feelings — no, let me go ahead and call them what they were, SINS — creeping into my own heart. Clearly, I was judging when I definitely didn’t know enough about the person to understand the motivations or the background. I found myself listening for a mistake or wanting to jump in with a correction or a “better idea” — sins that must have been equally despicable to God. I didn’t like myself because of the thoughts I was having. I recognized that I like to be the one with the knowledge, the expertise, the advice to give those around me, and I DON’T like listening to someone else be the “know it all.” It was not my finest hour or series of days. Hopefully, by confessing this to God and to all of you, I can get my heart straight again and be able to acknowledge the good traits that the person possesses rather than focusing on their traits that brought out the worst in me.
Matthew 7:1-5 – “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Clearly, I need to find a good “Plank Removal Service.” Anger one week, judging the next. God has His hands full keeping me convicted and straightened out.
And to Steve, my beloved Silver Fox. If you’re reading this, let me tell you how sorry I am for the times that I play the “know-it-all” role, when it is completely obvious to everyone who knows both of us that YOU are the one with the gift of wisdom. Please forgive me. I’ll try to do better.