Twenty Fifteen is tomorrow! Tomorrow! I can’t say I’m surprised that it’s come on so quickly. I seem to always feel this way when the new year comes around. It’s like I have been so focused on day to day that I don’t realize the days are passing. I know we all feel that way sometimes. I look forward to the new year and am excited by the unknown. It’s not common to feel thrilled to be in the dark about something but I have learned that we should, at times, rejoice in ignorance.
I was in a fun and spirited conversation last night about faith, religion, conservativism, and social justice. While talking I found myself often stumbling over words and just saying, “I just don’t know, ya know?” I was amazed at the ease at which I uttered those words. I was talking about a some topics that I can be quite passionate about so surely I had some definitive opinions. I’m sure I did but my opinion wasn’t the response required for the conversation we were having. Maybe ending a sentence with “I just don’t know” shouldn’t have been as comfortable as it was for me. But it was. I’ll tell you why.
No matter what topic we are talking about: faith, prophecy, politics, social justice, sports, or geek fandom (one of my favorites) there are things I am just not authorized or qualified to speak to. I can’t tell you every single thing about the bible, for example, and the way it should be interpreted. I am not a biblical scholar and I don’t know anyone who is, thought I know some who think they are. (Don’t act like you don’t know those people.) Even the actual scholars are forced to make assumptions and fill in blanks here and there. Because of this, when someone says they’ve “figured it out” they’re lying. We don’t, and never will, figure it all out. This is ok, though. See, we are given permission to work out our faith “with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12.) We are told to reason within ourselves and with each other and ask questions and share our doubts so that we can be lifted up. Not lifted up into higher knowledge but into a greater understanding of the greatness of a God that we can never understand. This is why it’s ok to say “I don’t know.” It’s ok because it’s true. We don’t absolutely know anything beyond any shadow of any doubt. There is a reason, after all we call this our “faith.”
Next time you are in a debate..er…conversation about scripture or our government or social issues don’t pretend you know it all. You don’t. Nobody does. All we have is the truth that there is a savior and He loves us enough to want to do life with us. If we can keep that as our center we will ensure that saying “I just don’t know” will get easier and easier. Imagine all of those who would begin their own journey towards faith in God if they saw a few believers admitting they haven’t got it all figured out.
What are you proud that you “just don’t know?”
Why is it so hard to say we don’t know sometimes?
What can you do to better acclimate yourself to an ignorance that will lead to greater faith?
Author: Michael Prince
Michael Prince co-authored “What’s in Your Pocket? A parent’s guide to protecting your children online.” with his wife Melinda. They have four kids and live in an RV anywhere in the USA they see the need for an internet safety expert. Michael is leading the conversation in the American Church about family online security. He and Melinda founded BecauseFamily, a ministry that exists to inspire and equip parents to be the first influence in the lives of their children, in 2013. Michael is also a geek and loves Star Wars, Doctor Who, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and strategy board games.