do you know what you don’t know?

by Pastor Mark Jordan

“A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart.” (Proverbs 21:2, NIV)

prov 21.2

Have you ever heard of the Island Theory? It points to the stark reality that the more you know, the less you understand. As I think about my life, I can point to some very specific times when I thought I knew everything and the world was my proverbial oyster. Then, something happens, seemingly out of the blue, to remind me that the complexities of life are greater than I can fathom. Now instead of thinking I know everything, I consider the reality that I don’t know what I don’t know. Know what I mean?

As Solomon wrote the proverb we read in 21:2, it echoes of us not knowing what we don’t know. In our own way, we think we are right. Yet, when we are called to see things from a different perspective or point of view, it can be challenging. We might think our ways are right, but that simply cannot be. The other part of today’s proverb is important, though, as we see that God weighs the heart.

I think the idea Solomon is conveying can be boiled down to one word: intention. God knows the motivation of the heart when we act. Sometimes we make a mistake convinced we are right, and deserve grace. After all, we aren’t expected to know everything, but learn from our gaffs and grow in grace; and this is especially true when others goof against us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, it can be a startling revelation when I realize that my ways are not always right. Please weigh my heart and be gracious with me when I make mistakes, as I know you are. Help me to also be gracious toward those who make mistakes that impact me as we all deal with the fact that we don’t know what we don’t know. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.