Attitude 7: If you already know it all, you can’t learn anything

Attitude 7: If you already know it all, you can’t learn anything


Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

I identify with Hermione Granger. Even though personality tests usually connect me to Neville Longbottom (which I’m okay with too), I’ve always felt that Hermione and I would get along famously. We’re both bookworms. We’re both bossy. We both like to know the answers to every question. I guess we both can be accused of being “insufferable know-it-alls.” Thank you, Professor Snape.

But one thing I’ve determined over the years is that even if you are a know-it-all, you can never really know it all. Nobody knows everything (except God, of course). Imagine if a person tried to learn everything. Their brains would explode.

Nobody can know it all.

The more I learn, the more I discover how much I still have to learn. About everything. The world and the universe, the Earth and the ocean, my friends and myself, and everything else. What I know is a drop in the bucket compared of all there is to learn.

There’s nothing wrong with knowledge. Knowing stuff is a good. The more you know, the more you can help others. But how we treat our knowledge determines a lot about who we are and what our priorities are.

Knowledge is valuable, yes, but knowledge by itself is worthless until you have the wisdom to know how to use it.

If you see your knowledge like a status symbol or a measurement of value, you’re looking at it wrong. Knowledge is valuable, yes, but knowledge by itself is worthless until you have the wisdom to know how to use it. And you can’t have wisdom until you embrace a character quality that seems counter-productive to your success.

The Bible says in James 4:6-10, But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

If you have knowledge, that’s great, but if you have wisdom, that’s better. And the only way to get wisdom is to be humble.

Humility doesn’t make a lot of sense to our modern-day mentality. Humility is living life like a doormat. It’s dressing in gray and never speaking your mind. It’s hiding your gifts in the shadows while less talented people get the spotlight. It’s acting like you don’t deserve anything.

How is living like that supposed to be a good thing? How is living like a shadow of yourself supposed to help you be the kind of woman God wants?

Humility is misunderstood.

Humility doesn’t mean you leave morality behind. It doesn’t mean you expect to be bullied or even that you put up with it. But it does mean you forgive the people who hurt you. Humility isn’t weakness or gray lifelessness. It’s bright and vivid and takes more strength than you have in your whole heart. Humility isn’t hiding. It’s just giving credit where credit is due.

9Attitudes_07Humility_pinnableYou’re going to screw up. You’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to hurt others. You’ll break up, you’ll be rejected, and you might even end up separated or divorced, but that isn’t the end or doesn’t make you unweddable. But it does mean there are lessons to learn. And you can’t learn until you accept that you still don’t know everything.

When you can face a storm of hatred from the people around you and still love them, that’s humility. When you can accept blame and accusations falsely without your self-worth faltering and patiently wait for the truth to be revealed, that’s humility. When you can give the performance of a lifetime and point the adulation and exaltation of the crowds to God who gave you your strength and talent, that’s humility.

When you can admit that you don’t have all the answers, that’s humility. And when you can turn to God and ask for His help, that’s humility too. And that’s exactly the kind of person we need to be. That’s exactly the kind of Christ-follower the world needs. That’s exactly the kind of person you want to marry.

A.C. Williams

Amy Williams left a lucrative career in marketing to write novels about space cowboys, clumsy church secretaries, American samurai, and alternate dimensions. Along the way, she also discovered a passion for teaching other creative professionals how to use technology to make life easier. Through video instruction or one-on-one coaching, she teaches software, blogging, basic graphic design, and many other useful skills that help creative entrepreneurs get stuff done minus the frustration.

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