I don’t know everything. In fact, most of the time, I wonder if I really know anything. Sure I’ve been through plenty of school, read thousands of books and millions of internet articles. I’ve had many conversations, sat through countless sermons and teaching or training events. I’ve even spent days (weeks?) in prayer and reflection and thinking.
And yet, I am not an expert in anything. I constantly question the things that I know and believe with all of my heart. I doubt my abilities and lack the faith to believe all that I’ve learned to be true.
I believe that knowledge is power. And yet sometimes more knowledge just leads to more questions.
I know that there is such a thing as ultimate truth. Somewhere out there, God has the answers to every question. And for every question, there is only one absolute, honest answer. I believe that God can and does reveal these honest truths to us through His word, through prayer, through teachings, discussions, and conversations with others. God speaks to us and teaches us His truth. But, we will never know everything and some of the things we know are true, we’ll find, in the end, are actually false.
Does this mean we stop seeking, stop trying, and stop learning? Absolutely not.
Does this mean we never stand up for the things that we believe to be true? No way.
What it does mean, I think, is that we keep soft hearts, open ears, and empathy toward others. To constantly stand in humility knowing that only God is the true expert on any subject. We have to realize that everyone has been through different circumstances, different education, different upbringing, and they have different DNA. God reveals Himself to each of us differently. He made everyone unique. His beautiful design is difference. His plans are unique for every single person who will ever walk on this Earth. No one will experience the same things, believe the same things, or know the same things as anyone else.
Even when we talk about values and morality, I don’t think that we could or should ever come to an absolute, accurate definition that we can all agree on. Things that are of utmost importance to you might not matter all that much to me. Not because one of us is wrong, but because God has designed us each for a different purpose. In order to fulfill our own unique destiny, we must have interests and passions and priorities that align with that destiny. God’s will for your life is different than His will for mine, so our priorities and values are going to look completely different. And they should.
Does this mean that someone is wrong? Maybe, but does it matter? God never told us that we could ever reach perfection. His “great commission” doesn’t guide us into seeking ultimate truth. We are assured that we will never have all of the answers.
We are simply invited on a journey. Our individual journey with God will lead us to His perfect and beautiful will for our unique life. It’s going to look very different from every other person’s journey. That’s what makes it so beautiful. We will grow, we will stumble, we’ll question, we’ll find peace and strength, we’ll doubt and find courage, and we’ll take the wrong path and start all over again. We’ll forget where we’ve come from and have to relearn the steps; we’ll spread love and seek wisdom. We’ll find purpose and passion and change the world in our own distinctive way.
Not one of us will have all the answers. No one is going to be right about everything. Everyone will fail, multiple times. All of us will fall short.
But God loves all of us, the same.
God accepts everyone, regardless of our faults and failures.
God is with each of us in the midst of our mistakes.
Shouldn’t we extend this same grace to others?
Our world is so full of judgments and persuasions and strong beliefs and passionate attacks disguised as love.
But God didn’t invite us on a journey of perfection. He didn’t invite us on a journey of condemnation or guilt. God doesn’t beat us with truth, He loves us with grace.
So we can go forth and believe the things we know to be true with all of our heart.
We can read and seek and grow and learn.
We can take action. We can achieve our dreams. We can stand confident in our abilities.
We can change the world.
With open ears that listen to the hearts of those who don’t agree with us.
With soft hearts that empathize with people who might not see things the same way that we do.
With a love that embraces and accepts others in the midst of their doubts, fears, and failings.
And with the knowledge that we never have to agree with each other to live at peace with each other. We don’t have to persuade everyone to join our side, because we aren’t fighting a war, we are living life, millions and millions of unique, individual lives. And none of them should be lived the same way.