In about 2000 I was teaching an adult Sunday School Class. We did a series on spiritual gifts and took a spiritual gifts inventory. My primary gifts were faith and teaching. I was not particularly comfortable with the gift of teaching. I had no formal training in teaching and I had not done much of it. The whole notion of lesson plans, being viewed as “authoritative” about a topic, managing a classroom, etc. was foreign to me. All I did was study, attempt to listen to the Holy Spirit’s instruction to me, share it with others, and facilitate the conversation. But as a part of that SG inventory, the commentary on the gift of teaching said that the hallmark of that gift is LOVE OF THE WORD. When I read that I went, “Huh. If that is the primary characteristic, then maybe that is my gift.” I certainly loved the Bible. I loved the Lord. I loved discovering more and more about God through his Word. So I embraced the gift. Later I began certification classes to become a Christian educator. I completed that work and would eventually go on to other equipping studies…. graduate school, seminary, certifications, etc.
I have been criticized by some with derisive taunts of, “You think you know everything.” That makes me both wince and laugh – wince because I know that is how some perceive me and laugh because I know how little I really know.
There are many things I don’t know. But there are some things I definitely DO know – things I have learned through hard experience, through wise teachers, through God-inspired insights, through answers to pleading prayers, through long hours of study, though a passion for learning that continues in my life even now. I want to know all of life’s secrets. I want to live life abundantly. But I am reminded regularly by my lack of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom that “the secret things belong to the Lord our God” (Deuteronomy 29:29 a) But I do know this: “But the things revealed belong to us and to our sons and daughters forever, that we may observe all the words of this law.” (Deuteronomy 29:29 b) As I heard once, “I am not concerned about the things I do not know about the Bible (or life). What I am concerned about are the things I DO know and don’t practice.” And I, as a teacher would add as well, those that I fail to share. Those are the things for which I will have to answer.