Creflo Dollar - The Blessing of Not Knowing
We've been talking about locating those paths that will lead to emotional maturity. We've talked about spiritual maturity, but very rarely do we talk about emotional maturity. And we've been talking about the different paths that will lead you... in other words, how do you know that you are maturing emotionally? Well, a few weeks back, the first path that really helped us to see that we're maturing emotionally is being flexible; that when you can be okay with plan A not working and be emotionally mature enough to go to a plan B or a plan C and to be flexible just like Jesus demonstrated flexibility, then you are on the path of emotional maturity. The second path that we looked at, the last time I was here was taking ownership and responsibility for your life. In other words, not playing the blame game.
And I made the statement that you cannot blame the floor for you not being able to dance, you know. And when you play the blame game, the only thing that happens is you just stay the same because you have yet to accept responsibility for the part that you played in that situation that you had in your life. So we talked about owning up and taking ownership of your life, taking ownership of the part that you played in whatever the situation was that happened in life. When things go bad, that's not the time to blame somebody because you cannot grow in the midst of your comfort zone. You got to be willing to, you know, step outside your comfort zone. That's where change and everything takes place.
And tonight... I've been waiting to get to this. Tonight we're going to talk about... here's the third path that we're on. And I think at one time I gave you all the different paths in one session so that you'll know how to follow me; but tonight we're going to talk about this third path, and that's knowing that you don't know everything. You know, how many of you know it's okay that you don't know everything? And it's not a cussing phrase when you say, "I don't know". And yet there's something we need to see. There's a level of emotional maturity that comes when you begin to recognize that, "I don't know everything". An emotionally-mature person knows what they don't know and they also know that their own way of doing things may not be the only way or even the best way of doing things. It requires a level of emotional maturity to walk in this.
People who are emotionally mature enough to know and be okay without knowing everything, they keep an open mind and they have an open ear and eyes to look for situations where they may be able to learn something and gather some information because they're not stuck in that mind frame of, "I know everything and I'm not really open to hear what anybody else knows". And so this is very, very, very important. So I want to start off with this verse of Scripture. I thought it was just really right on. Proverbs chapter 28, verse 26 in the Message Translation, and he says this: "If you think you know it all, you're a fool for sure". Dang, you know. "If you think you know it all, you're a fool for sure". He says, "Real survivors learn wisdom from others".
Now just think about that just for a moment. "If you think you know it all..." There's something so beautiful about not knowing it all. In fact, I heard a phrase years ago. We're going to talk about it tonight. The blessing of not knowing, the blessing of not knowing for me has always been that I now have to depend on God. The blessing of not knowing is now I have to go towards God, but that starts a lot of fights in the body of Christ. People who are really strong on whatever it is they believe and you know, it turns into an argument or it turns into strife. And I don't know about you, but I don't do strife well; and I don't like living in strife, walking in strife, being in strife. But this Scripture is pretty clear. I love this translation here. "If you think you know it all..."
So here's the truth about it. We don't know it all. You know what the real truth is? The real truth is while some people bounce from one church to another church to another church, wherever you bounce to they don't know it all. Nobody knows it all. I just think that God just really holds us accountable to really preaching and doing what we believe, and we continue to grow and we continue to mature. Thank God we know more today than we knew, you know, years back and thank God that we're growing, and that's what this is about. It's about maturing emotionally. But the last thing you want to do is to get this arrogant attitude where you're never open to hear or to take time to see what somebody else is saying because you have resolved the fact that, "I know it all and there's nothing else to learn and there's nothing else to know. It's my way or no way at all".
And I remember changing that. As a pastor, I wanted to kind of just look and listen to what other people were saying. And I don't know if it changed my mind enough, but what it did is it allowed me to go back and re-evaluate and to look at this closely and to check this out. And you know what? I came out with more wisdom; and that's what he says in the second part of this Scripture, that real survivors learn wisdom from other people. I'll sit down and talk about somebody who messed up. I went to teach Bible study at the Fulton County Jail one night and the guys came in, and I taught on a subject with eight simple steps and they said, "If I'd have heard that before I did what I did, I wouldn't be here".
And I just learned how regret if you don't get ahold of it can really just haunt you in doing some things, and I had a chance to minister to that situation. But we're not going to be fools, amen, because we don't think we know it all. But we know somebody who knows it all and it ain't you and it ain't me, but it's our relationship that we have with God and the Spirit of God that he's given to us. Also, let's look at 1 Corinthians 8 and 2 in the NLT and then I'll begin this. 1 Corinthians 8 and 2 in the NLT. And he says here, he says, "Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much". Anybody that claims to know all the answers, they don't really know very much.
It is really cool to hear a pastor say, "I don't know". Because sometimes people in the congregations think the pastor knows everything, and I love to tell people, "I don't have a clue, but I tell you what. If you'll spend some time in prayer, spend some time in the Word, I'll do the same thing. Maybe we can get together and compare notes with what we got and it'll be a lot closer than where we were". And so these two Scriptures just really started ministering to me about some things. When people with different opinions are each convinced, they both have their opinion and they're each convinced that only their beliefs are correct, whatever it is they may believe in, the problems are going to occur when that situation is true in the lives of two people.
Discussion and dialogue will disappear in these situations; and check out what remains, check out what shows up. Fights and hostility emerge. I mean, the biggest fights and hostilities that's ever taken place has been amongst church people. That's why you have all this different kind of denominations. And we just got to figure out just how to get along. Got dog. I learned a long time ago how to disagree agreeably. I may not disagree with certain things, but I'm not going to make it out of a heaven-or-hell issue neither am I going to make it out of a strife issue or an issue where I'm upset 'cause I don't know everything. Here's what's exciting. When we get to heaven, God who knows everything will straighten us all out and he will give us some things that we need. And so you've heard it said that ignorance is bliss, but it is also fact. It's not just bliss, it's fact.
One of the irritations of life is that the more we know the more we know about the less we know. Does that make sense? The more we know the more we know about the less we know. It's been commonly said that the wiser a man becomes the more ignorant he knows himself to be. That is so true. The more I have learned, it's almost embarrassing, between me and God it's almost embarrassing how much I don't know, and that's pretty cool 'cause it constantly reminds me that I have to live a life depending on God and declaring my dependence on him. Well, Paul acknowledges this struggle in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 and 12, if you'll turn there. We'll look at it in the King James Bible. He looks at this in the first letter and he cites the fact that we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror and that our knowledge is partial and it is incomplete.
Look what he says here. "For now we see through a glass, darkly," you know, a poor mirror, "but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known". Look at this in the NLT. Partial and incomplete in my knowledge; and I'm okay with that, partial and incomplete as long as I'm growing. He says, "Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know," at that time, "everything completely, just as God now knows me completely". So there's coming a time he's going to straighten all this stuff out, but I want to be faithful with what I know in part. I don't know everything about the rapture. I don't know everything about end-time prophecy. I don't know anything, I know grace. Okay? But I know that partially. That's so deep. I know I know that partially.
So I just want to be faithful with what he's given me to know and not be arrogant in thinking that, "Well, I know this part so I'm going to make you think that I know all of it". And I think it is really cool to see a leader say, "I know this, but I just don't know that. You're going to have to call somebody and check with somebody". I think it's a humbling thing to see that happen. And I don't even try. You know, somebody say, "Where's that Scripture"? I'm like, "Don't you have a telephone"? They're like, "Why"? I say, "Well, ask Siri. She'll help you out". Amen? Greatest thing that ever happened to Christian people. You can go to Siri and say, "Where that Scripture at that talk about wine"? And Siri will tell you. Okay? So there are some upsides to only knowing in part, the blessing of not knowing. Let's look at it. There are some upsides of only knowing in part. Let me give you about four of them tonight with the time we have left.
Number one, it's good that we don't know it all for it keeps us... watch this, and I believe this: it keeps us humble or it keeps us in a place where we're submitted to God and where we're needing him. Knowledge has a way of making people proud, you know? In fact, if you go back to 1 Corinthians chapter 8 and 1... of course I'm not going to dissect this one, but 1 Corinthians 8 and 1 in the NLT, if you'll turn there. He says, "Now regarding your question about food that has been offered to idols. Yes, we know that 'we all have knowledge' about this issue". So, you know, he's talking specifically about this issue where food is concerned. He says, "But while knowledge makes us feel important, it is love that strengthens the church".
When I saw that, I'm like, "Dude, that is the key". We're fighting over knowledge, but he says it's love that strengthens the church. They want to fight over knowledge concerning this particular issue even where eating meat is concerned, where idols are concerned. And there are other Scriptures, if you rightly divide this, that talk about those idols mean nothing and we just made a big deal. At that time they made a big deal out of eating meat, and Paul had to come and address it and said, "Listen, the thing that's going to be strengthening to the church is the love that we believe we have from God and the love that we now can have for other people as a result of God loving us".
And you just think about it. Think about the arguments that have taken place amongst people over knowledge; what they knew, what they believed and it caused splits and all that other kind of stuff. So it's good that we know in part. We think we are better than others because we know more than others. That's not true. And yet that kind of spirit will get on you when that happens. Knowing that we know only in part should make us easy to live with and keep us from acting like we are God. You ever met somebody like that? I have, you know.
"Well, Brother Dollar, you must understand, dah, dah, dah". "Dude, I don't even want to. I love you. Can we go home"? "Well, no. This is important". "You know, it'll be all right, man. Go and get you a piece of apple pie and just chill out a little bit, bro". It frees us up not to have an opinion on everything. I'm cool about not having an opinion on everything. Sometimes you can study to just kind of be quiet on certain things. You know, if somebody is sitting around and they're talking about the Republicans and the Democrats, you know there's going to be a fight somewhere. Just be quiet and say, if anybody ask you, "What do you think, Brother Dollar"? "I just pray for everybody". Okay?
Here's the second reason why knowing in part may be good for us. It's good that we do not know it all for it causes us to take life one day at a time. That is so good, to be able to take life one day at a time. Matthew 6:34 says something about this. I just want to read it to you. Imagine if God showed you the future and all the things that would happen in the future. I'm glad he doesn't do that. Some people claim, wake up and say, "God showed me exactly what's going to happen next week". I like waking up living and walking in the journey of having to trust God for what might get ready to happen. Matthew 6:34 says, "Don't worry about tomorrow". Isn't that interesting? He said, "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today".
Okay? I don't want to hear the knowledge about tomorrow. I'm still in today. I still had some stuff happen this morning, something that happened last night, you know. And it's just so good to wake up in the morning and say, you know, "This is the day you've made. I love doing the..." And check out what I'm getting ready to say. I love doing the morning confessions. Can you believe I just said that? I love doing the morning confessions because I get to wake up, go do my prayer time, get my workout, and then come and share what's on my heart with, you know, hundreds of thousands of people around the whole world and just genuinely share my heart. I can't see them. They can see me so... I can only see me on the screen. So I ain't nervous or scared of nothing. I'm just sharing. I'm just trying to get people encouraged and motivated for today, for today. This is the day the Lord hath made. We will rejoice for today. Amen?
And so maybe it's pretty good that we don't know everything about what's happening next week. You know, I'm good with that. I'm learning how to walk in this intimate relationship with God; this intimate, real, authentic, genuine relationship with God where I don't have to act deep, I don't have to put on a perpendicular tone when I'm talking to the Lord Jesus Christ. I can just feel secure in who he made me and enjoy his presence and just love when he speaks things to me, when he warns me, when he gives me insight on stuff I didn't know about. I can't claim to be smart like that. It's his wisdom. Wisdom, remember, is knowing what to do when you don't know what to do. When you can begin to walk like that, this is evidence that you are maturing emotionally, emotional maturity coming because it's okay that you don't know everything. It's okay.
And that's demonstrated, that emotional maturity that it comes, being flexible, accepting ownership and responsibility for it, you know, a lot of people's mamas didn't sit them down and talked about their emotional maturity, that, "When this happens to you, you respond like this". Or sometimes they might have been so immature that they gave them the wrong advice that caused them to be emotionally immature. And then you turn 50 years old and you still cussing people out because you don't know any other way how to deal with a situation except to cuss them out and threaten to cuss them, I mean, threaten to cut them, and then you end up getting shot because they're fearful that you're going to cut them. So they pull their gun out and you pull your knife out, and you don't bring a knife to a gunfight. Are you listening to me? I don't need to know about the next five years. Maybe some other guy can handle that. I want to be okay with not knowing everything and to be very secure in that which God has given me.
Thirdly, let's look at this, it's good that we don't know it all 'cause it makes us kinder towards one another. Not knowing the whole story of a person's life should make us very slow to judge those people. I'm so glad that every time I walk up to somebody that God doesn't show me everything, sometimes I'm honored with some things, only the things that I need to know, but I'm glad I don't know everything about a person 'cause I don't want to quickly judge a person. And then sometimes people can start telling you about stuff and they start oversharing and it's like, "Dude, I did not want to hear that". Don't overshare, just kind of, you know, be okay with... I want to approach you as a fellow brother or sister in the Lord or approach you with the love of God that God's given to me, whether you're saved or not saved.
I want to accomplish what God is stirring up in my heart where you are concerned at this particular time. People do that. They go to researching people. And I'm not saying right or wrong about any of this stuff, but I'm just saying I'm pretty cool with just knowing in part and God not letting me know everything that's going on with a person. My attitude is no matter what it is it'll be all right. Why? 'Cause I depend on God. It's going to be fine. You know, if some of you are worried about your children and wondering, you know, how they're going to turn out and you're still shaming yourself and beating yourself up, "Oh, God, that's my fault. If I'd have did this better, if I'd have done that better..." Whatever. You should let that go. God's got them now and you've got to give them over to the Lord, and he is well able to raise your children or your adult children to a place where he wants them to be.
Let's look at 1 Corinthians 4:1 through 5 real quick just in this situation. Yeah, I don't want to know the whole story of a person's life. I don't want to get into a place where I'm judging them, and I'm not saying that judgment is a bad thing or a negative thing 'cause the Bible talks about how to properly judge a situation. He says, you know, judge a tree by the fruit that it bears. But I'm talking about, you know, how we wrongly judge people and all for the wrong reasons. 1 Corinthians 4:1 through 5 he says, "So look at Apollos and me as mere servants of Christ who have been put in charge of explaining God's mysteries. Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful. As for me, it matters very little how I might be evaluated".
Oh, somebody need to underline that 'cause that's not true in a lot of people... for most people, it matters a lot how you are evaluated. You want validation big time, and it matters a lot. There is something to be said that as you begin to grow emotionally and mature emotionally eventually it's not going to matter how people evaluate you or validate you that's not going to be the top issue on your list. You remember me saying the biggest bondage you can be in is people bondage, but also the biggest deliverance you can experience is deliverance from people.