Does this seem like a silly question? It probably does on the surface. After all, who knows everything? Certainly not you, not me. Yet if you were to stop and think about it, you would realize that so often you feel compelled to fake it. You feel pressured to project that you know everything even when you don’t. So how do you admit that you don’t know everything?
Forget Your Image when You Don’t Know Everything
For starters, forget about your image. That’s often a big part of the issue. You don’t want to look foolish or stupid if someone asks you something. Or, it may be that as a parent or a teacher or a leader people are looking to you for answers. It seems as if your image will take a hit if you don’t have all the answers.
Here’s the deal. Projecting that you know everything when you don’t is to project a false image. It means being less than you are which means living out of a falsehood. What will happen to that carefully crafted image when it becomes obvious that you don’t know what you’re talking about?
Be Honest when You Don’t Know Everything
Just admit it. Go ahead. Let people know that you don’t know what they are asking you about. You’re not called to be the source and fountain of all knowledge. In other words, you’re not called to be God. Be honest about who you are, your strengths and limitations. In particular, be honest before God. When you’re honest with God it will be easier to be honest with people.
Still, the question remains of how to be honest without people taking advantage of you. Thus, when appropriate, explain why you do not know what is being asked of you. If you should know, commit to doing something about your lack of knowledge.
Commit to Learning when You Don’t Know Everything
So, you’ve admitted that you don’t know everything, even if this means that you look diminished in someone else’s eyes. At the same time, you shouldn’t go around as the person who knows nothing. That’s not the point. Thus, when you don’t know and it is something that you are expected to know because of your role or expertise, commit to finding the answer.
Say to whomever you’re interacting with that you will find out. Then do that. Get back with them and share your new-found knowledge.
You don’t have to know everything. That’s what God does. However, if you are willing to forget about projecting an image of total knowledge, admit when you don’t know something, and then learn about it when you do need to do so, two things will happen. In the first place, you’ll grow more into God because you will be honest with God. In the second place, you will grow closer to people because you will be living out your humanity.
So what about it: Are you ready to admit that you don’t know everything?
Get closer to God and gain a deeper understanding of who God is.
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