So what if you "know better"...

I'm intrigued by phrases that I hear and say wondering why they're said and where they came from in the first place.

One of those is "I know better than that."

It's usually employed to express the terrible feeling of knowing something is wrong but doing it anyway.  Or knowing something is right and not doing the right that you know.  It's embarrassing to be talking to someone and to come to a place in the conversation where you divulge something that makes you look like a moron because it's blatantly obvious what should be happening, but isn't....or shouldn't have happened, but did.  So...there is a stammer in the sentence...and then someone mutters out the phrase "I know better than that and yet..." to try and give voice to the painful realization that just because "you know better" doesn't mean "you'll do the better that you know".

You think education will help you make more informed decisions...that's what it's supposed to do and sometimes does.  But often times it just shows you how much more you don't actually know and how hard it is to conduct your life in such a way that you execute the new knowledge that you've learned.  Like Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1, "The more learning, the more sorrow".  He was trying to say that sometimes the more you know the higher you're chances are of saying with a sigh..."I knew better than that!"

I also find myself saying, "I should have know better".  Same phrase, but coming from a place of beating myself up for what I don't know that I've had every opportunity to know yet for some reason don't because "I'm not applying myself" or "digging deep enough" or whatever.  I fight this all the time.  I want to know everything, so when something happens that exposes my incompetence, I feel stupid that I didn't think hard enough or long enough to come up with the solution, thus failing.  If only I had known better.

You see what I'm getting at?

I'm learning to release myself from the death grip of "knowing better" and it's various forms of attack on my soul.  I'm becoming more and more ok with not knowing everything.  I'm becoming more patient with myself when I make a mistake, fail, or outright sin even though I may have "known better".  I can strap myself to a whipping pole and flog myself for not choosing the "better" that I "knew"...or I can embrace the fact that I can never live up to the letter of the law and its every jot and tittle.  I can't do everything I know, and I can't know everything.  Sounds simple, but it's easy to allow these inner dialogues and diatribes to be the diabolic voices that govern my quality of life.

So "I knew better" what?  Knowing intellectually is much different than knowing experientially and I think God sometimes wants us to fail so that our knowledge goes beyond the cerebral to the visceral.  Knowing stuff is so overrated.  And when you grow up in a culture that is "know the right thing, do the right thing", you get suffocated with the expectations of "knowing more than you could ever live out" or "not knowing as much as you wish you did".  Over-knowing or under-knowing lead to the same sad sighs of "I know better." or "I should have known better".  Who cares?  What are you going to do with the failure and how are you going to let it shape you into a more authentic, humble, caring, relatable influence in the future?  That's what I wonder about.

Well, those are my ramblings.  If I "knew any better" I would have stayed away from this subject, but thankfully I don't.  And I might be barking up the wrong tree, but I think you should join me "if you knew what was good for ya'"...hehe.



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