Insight: Do You Know Your Strengths … or Are You Simply a Know-It-All?

Insights are short, biblical truths to equip you to lead from your strengths.

A know-it-all: it’s that irritating person who claims to know everything. And because he knows everything, he cannot learn new things from others.

When it comes to individual differences, you might be a know-it-all … and not know it. What separates a know-it-all and a teachable spirit is one small but significant element: humility.

know-it-allIf you know your strengths and weaknesses but you don’t walk humbly, you may be a know-it-all (and not know it).

Here’s An Insight

In every relationship, you have a choice between two options. You can judge another’s individual differences or you can value another’s individual differences. You make that decision with your head (renewing your thoughts), your heart (giving God access to your emotions), and your hands (working purposely).

(Previous Insights explain these three further.)

It is one thing to know your strengths and weaknesses (knowledge). But it is quite another to submit to that knowledge and respond with action (obedience).

Scripture says, “Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1, ESV).

The term “puff up” means to inflate. In other words, you may know what choices you need to make about differences, but inaction leaves you dangerously vulnerable to pride. When you routinely withhold love and acceptance from those around you, that passivity can mean death to those relationships.

On the other hand, when you take action on what you know about differences and act – by valuing others’ strengths and inviting others’ strengths –  you breathe life into those relationships. Love builds up.

There is no middle ground. The decision to take action or not has deep consequences.

The difference between knowing how to respond to people (knowledge) and your actual response (action) spells the difference between life and death in your relationships.

The Genuine Know-It All

God, the genuine Know-It-All, chooses to demonstrate His love for us by taking action.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son” (John 3:16, NIV).

And …

Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13, ESV)

If He does, can’t we?

Now How Shall I Live?

Read John 15:9-17  (see below) and take these steps.

  1. Underline words or phrases that describe love as an action.
  2. Ask God to show you where you have knowledge without action.
  3. Ask the Holy Spirit to renew your mind, heart, and hands.

 John 15:9-17 (NIV)

9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.

11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

14You are my friends if you do what I command.

15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.

17This is my command: Love each other.


More Insights

Insight: What’s Your True Parenting Insurance Policy?

Renewing Your Mind Means Choosing With Your Head

Changing Your Heart Means Giving God Access

Using Your Hands Means More than “Just Do It”

Strengths Are Given In the Image of God