I don’t know

As a plant addict and gardener, I am often asked questions concerning plant or insect identification, or plant care questions. Most of the time, I feel blessed when I can help a less experienced gardener to make her world more beautiful, even if it’s just the world of her back porch.

There have been a few times when I am completely stumped. I am admittedly a “collect-them-all” kind of person when it comes to new and unusual plants, but there seems to be a handful of plants that have either eluded my notice or have died under my lack of expertise.

It is then that I remember Roy Lanier Sr. at Bear Valley Bible Institute and what he used to tell us was his “favorite answer.”

“I don’t know.”

He always followed up with that answer as he came back to the class the next day with the results of his further study. But it always impressed me that a man so knowledgeable about the Bible would not be afraid to utter those three words.

There is no shame in ignorance, but only in the refusal to learn. We are certainly not required to learn everything there is to know! I don’t know how to change the spark plugs in my car, but I can help you propagate a hydrangea. An automotive knowledge base is arguably more useful than horticultural expertise, but I’m simply not interested.

We all become knowledgeable about the things that we care about.

Keeping track of my family’s physical health and feeding them nutritious food is important. If I refuse to learn which sweeteners are better and which could be detrimental, it could risk someone’s health. Besides, I enjoy cooking.

The Proverbs 31 woman seemed to know where to shop for bargains. Well, okay; I might be paraphrasing too wildly about being like the “merchant ships.” But I pride myself on bargain shopping.

On the truly important things in life, I want to know all I can. We should soak up knowledge and wisdom from daily Bible readings, and attend the classes and worship services offered by the church.

There is one important area that we never want to hear the words, “I don’t know.” That crucial moment when we stand before Christ at eternity’s door is NOT the time to hear those words spoken!

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness” (Matthew 7:21-23, NASB).

Jesus wants to know you and me. He cares about us so much that he sacrificed himself for us. The people he addresses here obviously care about him; or they wouldn’t have the chutzpah to talk back to him.

Why didn’t Jesus know them? He says they were practicing lawlessness. People like to pretend that there is no law, no rules; just butterflies and rainbows and a paisley decorated cross of Christ.

It matters not if we perform many mighty works in the name of Christ, because without the identifying features as his follower, he will not know us as belonging to him any more than I would know a plant growing in the rainforest.

How do we make sure Jesus knows us? Know HIM.

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