In Acts 15, when the question arose whether the Gentiles had to be circumcised according to Mosaic practice or not, Paul and Barnabas didn't know the answer. What I love, and what inspires me, is that they admitted this to everyone. Then they traveled up to Jerusalem to get the right answer from the apostles. If they could admit what they didn't know, why couldn't I? It takes years to undo a life-long defense mechanism. But God wants what's best for us, and will lead us to it if we let Him. He led me to a book club where one woman openly admitted what she didn't know. She'd ask question after question to learn. Although I presumed people would look down on me if I admitted something I didn't know, I found I looked up to her for her courage to go in search of the answers. Additionally, I met countless women on the playground over the years who readily admitted they didn't have a clue about motherhood. This gave me permission to do the same. However, it's in guiding my kids that I've learned to admit my shortcomings the most, and seek out the answers. I don't want to give my kids wrong information when they ask a question. More importantly, I don't want them to carry the weight of pretending that I did for all those years. I learned the hard way how exhausting that is. Instead, I want to role-model for them that it's okay to not know, and to go in search of the answers with confidence. As a result, I now routinely ask my mom, friends, Google, and total strangers for the answers I don't have. Above all, I go to God. Whether I search something out in His Word, or sit quietly listening for His voice, I've found He's the one Who guides me best. He knows me inside and out, backstory and all. He even knows when I'm asking the wrong question and don't even know it. Now I realize we were made to NOT know everything. It causes us to lean on others; which in turn builds community. Above all, it causes us to look to the All-Knowing One, who is always ready and waiting to give us the answers we seek.
Because there arose no little dissension and debate by Paul and Barnabas with them, it was decided that Paul, Barnabas, and some of the others should go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and presbyters about this question. Acts 15:2
Copyright 2018 Claire McGarry
About the Author
Claire McGarry is the author of the Lenten devotional "With Our Savior," published by Creative Communications for the Family/Bayard, Inc. and All is Blessing: Finding God in the Tensions of Life, to be published by Our Sunday Visitor in the fall of 2021. Her freelance work has appeared in various Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family magazine, Catechist magazine, These Days devotional, and Keys for Kids devotional. The founder of MOSAIC of Faith, a ministry with several different programs for mothers and children, she blogs at Shifting My Perspective.