preacherman

Monday, July 30, 2007

It's Okay To Say, "I Don't Know."

When it comes to our lives as Christians, and especially as ministers, people think we have all the answers to the questions that they have about God and life.
I do believe scripture tells us we should give an answer to why we are Christians. I think we should give an answer to why we have faith in Jesus Christ; because of hope of eternal life.
As a young minister I thought I had to have an answer for every question that was asked. I would shoot off a cliche, scripture that was out of context thinking that it might sound like I knew what I was talking about. "All things work together for good...,"etc.
I now know that it is okay to say, "I don't know." Sometimes it is even more helpful and beneficial to the individual to say, "I don't know." God knows all things. Man on the other hand...
We must be humble enough to admit what we do not understand and good enough ministers to say, "Let me look that up and I'll let you know what I find." Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." May Christians and especially ministers be humble enough to say, "I don't know."

What do you think?
Share your thoughts.

41 Comments:

Blogger Sista Cala said...

You are absolutely right. It is a powerful thing to be humble enough to admit having no answer. Just like going to a doctor. If he doesn't know what's causing my problem or doesn't know how to treat it; I would rather have an honest,"I don't know" than be treated for something I didn't have.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Bob Bliss said...

Wish I could think of something witty to say but "I don't know" of anything. You are absolutely correct about our need for humility.

10:33 PM  
Blogger TREY MORGAN said...

Bob ... lol

You're exactly right ... it's okay to say "I don't know." It's also okay to say "I'll have to look that up" or "I'm not sure."

Those that have all the answers are usually the ones that know the least!

Blessings

11:19 PM  
Blogger Darin L. Hamm said...

Knowledge has its limits so it would seem I don't know is always a possibility.

1:28 AM  
Blogger laymond said...

Kinny I don't know why but for some reason this statement you made stuck in my mind.
"As a young minister I thought I had to have an answer for every question that was asked. I would shoot off a cliche"

Me thinking, I thought he was still a young minister, with many years of ministry ahead. I wonder what he will say when he is 66 years old like someone I know. You have a lot of time to come up with the answers. May God bless.

7:24 AM  
Blogger Alan said...

If more people would be willing to say "I don't know", we'd have a lot less divisions in the church IMO.

7:54 AM  
Blogger Neva said...

"I don't know" and "I know" are always better than "I think" and "In my opinion"


In my opinion :)

Peace
Neva

9:07 AM  
Blogger Bob Bliss said...

Alan gets a big AMEN!

Darin, if I could offer another perspective. Knowledge to me seems so limitless that "I don't know" is not only a possibility but a probability.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Josh said...

I think it takes a big person to admit that they don't have all the answers. There's a shared vulnerability in the question. It's giving up responsibility to always have it right.

1:27 PM  
Blogger DJG said...

It also opens study opportunities. I am much more likely to truly listen to someone who says...let's look that up...than someone who spouts off all of the answers..

2:09 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

Great thoughts. I had a friend who went for a period of doubting in college, where he doubted that God even exists because there were so many things he did not understand. A friend told him "if you understood everything about God, He wouldn't really be God, would he?"

Christianity would be less fun if we knew all the answers.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

You show much wisdom in saying that you don't know and don't have the answers to everything, Kinney.

None of us know the answers to everything and people who are "know-it-alls" are a pain in the fanny!

Great post and great comments!

Dee

of Finding Direction: The Wind Vane Chronicles

4:30 PM  
Blogger jel said...

afternoon Preacherman,
it has bee along 2 day!


I'm glad ya said that, cause there is a lot that I don't know!


and blessing to ya !

4:34 PM  
Blogger Larry said...

I sorta perhaps kinda know what your possibly talking about; at least I kinda think I do, unless your talking about something else of course.

I just don't know!

5:39 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

i.....aaaaahhhhhh...dddoooooonnnnnn....aaahhhhh.....dddoooooonnnt...ddooon't...i don't know! there i said it!

5:49 PM  
Blogger Royce Ogle said...

Preacherman, when you don't know, Just ask ME!

Seriously, You make a great point, thanks for the reminder. What great advise for a minister!

Even with a wife, sometimes "I don't know" is appropriate, almost as powerful and healing as "I was wrong".

Grace to you,
Royce

5:53 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Believe me, Preacherman is right in saying that he doesn't know everything. No man does. If he did, God wouldn't have made Eve, right? =)

Love to all,
Mrs. Preacherman

8:41 PM  
Blogger preacherman said...

Oh, woman, it is ON! Just joking dear.

8:44 PM  
Blogger jel said...

:)

I think she got ya there!

preacher

10:59 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

I agree. I think as humans we have this need to be able to fix things. It's hard for us to say I don't know, just as it's hard for us to say no when our plate is already full. I also think that we don't listen enough. Sometimes when we just truly listen, rather than already thinking of what we are going to say, there is no need for an answer. And if we do need to answer, even if we know the right answer, sometimes it might be best to say I don't know, I'll get back to you. Because sometimes after more careful thought, we might not have the same answer.

There sure are a lot of "answer" words in there. I really don't know the answer! :)

12:56 PM  
Blogger Liz Moore said...

I forgot to add, thanks for the anniversary wishes!! Have a great one!

12:57 PM  
Blogger Godzheart said...

I have had many "I don't know" moments...and then its great, because it increases hunger for the Word of God. Else I don't think we'd have the apetite to learn more, to study deeper and to grow.
Everytime I thought I knew it all, I was least knowing and leaving no room for improvement too.

7:09 PM  
Blogger vwbatbug said...

Im glad that I had a teacher who wouldnt let us b.s. answers and told us he would rather hear I dont know than for us to make something up. We need to remember that being honest with others is certainly a virtue as well. I wish more preachers would learn this lesson, it would make for a lot more authentic sermons.

6:35 PM  
Blogger NaNcY said...

ya know..i think that would make a good blog name! i don't know. it is also my 10 year old's favorite answer to most questions.

8:47 PM  
Blogger jel said...

hope ya are feeling ok!


blessings

8:54 PM  
Blogger mmlace said...

Thanks for stopping by, preacherman! I appreciate your thoughts as well...I'll be adding a link to you on my page. Have a great day!--mmlace

12:34 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

I want to thank everyone for their comments and adding to this discussion. I know it has been encouraging to me to read all your thoughts and comments on this subject.
As ministers we must be authentic to the people we minister among. I believe this is just one of the many things in which we must be authentic and humble about.

9:57 AM  
Blogger preacherman said...

mmlace,
I am humbled that you are adding me to your list. Thanks and God bless you.

10:02 AM  
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