“I Know That”

I hear that often from my 4 year old. If, in the course of a conversation, I happen to share a tidbit of knowledge that he’s heard before, I get a teen-sounding, eye-rolling, “I KNOW that!” Frankly, after the first time (where it was surprising and amusing), I find it more than a little annoying.

They say we’re most annoyed by traits in others that we also possess. I’m sure that over the course of my life various people have considered me a ‘know-it-all.’ They might not have said it out loud, but considering my own motives at various times, it must have been thought.

From childhood, I felt the only thing I had going for me was being smart. My sister was the cute, funny one. I was scrawny and plain and boring. I had no athletic ability nor other interests that made me interesting. But I knew stuff. Lots of stuff. Especially Bible stuff.

I won all the Sunday school contests because I had perfect attendance (thanks to my parents for being at church any time the door was open). I always brought my Bible and had the 20-minute drive to church to complete my lesson and learn my memory verse. Even as I reached high school, I loved Bible quizzes and trivia games because I was really good at them.

But at one point in college, God was really dealing with me on my pride and I no longer wanted to be the first to raise my hand with the right answer. I didn’t need people to know how ‘smart’ I was. I didn’t want to lead. I wanted to sit back and learn and grow with everyone else.

So for one season, I went to a Bible study at a church that I didn’t usually attend. It was a good move, for lots of reasons (not the least of which is that’s where I met my husband!). Another benefit was that it was a chance to be a little anonymous. I had some friends there, but no one really knew me as “Mary the teacher” or “Mary the Bible study leader.”

One particular evening though, instead of our usual study, the leader decided to have us play a rousing game of Bible trivia baseball. I’d probably have been ok hanging back still, but they divided the teams into “boys against the girls.” I really did try to give other people the chance to answer first, but I couldn’t stuff my competitive side altogether. So if none of the other girls on my team seemed to know the answer, I’d pipe up. Purely for the good of my team, of course!

As I’ve grown–older for sure, wiser I hope–I’ve learned that knowing stuff that’s in the Bible is not the same as knowing God. And being able to answer all the Bible trivia questions in the world is useless if I don’t know why those facts matter to begin with.

God doesn’t want me just to know what His word says, he wants it to make a difference in my life. I don’t want to be a petulant 4 year old in my spiritual life, rolling my eyes and God with a big “I know that.”

Lord, I don’t want to be a spiritual know-it-all. Help me be sensitive to your word and to what you want me to know to grow in your likeness.

“Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.” 1 Corinthians 8:1b

2 Responses to “I Know That”
  1. elaine
    January 29, 2010 | 11:20 am

    I want to know him as well, and the facts! I grew up with some minimal head knowledge (i.e. facts) but had a heart full of love and desire for Jesus. As I’ve grown older, I’ve gained the facts which has only strengthened my desire for God.

    No finer goal of our hearts than knowing Jesus!

    Great writing, Mary.


  2. RefreshMom
    January 29, 2010 | 7:32 pm

    Thanks Elaine! Your own writing so clearly shows that you do know Him and know about Him.