Summary: Healthy self-knowledge means that in Christ we know enough to be functional, and indeed our ignorance is the vehicle through which God conveys wisdom, for in Him we are fully known.
Charley Brown says to Lucy, still dispensing sage wisdom for the pre-inflationary price of five cents, "Nobody likes me, Lucy. Everybody hates my guts. Do you see that plane up there, Lucy? It’s a plane full of people going somewhere else. That’s what I’d like to do. I’d like to go somewhere else, somewhere where nobody knows me. Then with new people I could get a fresh start. Do you think that’s what I ought to do, Lucy? Go get a fresh start with new people who don’t know me?!"
And Lucy, herself fresh from yanking away Charley Brown’s football just before, maybe this year, it would be kicked into the stratosphere, and just as adept at yanking away Charley Brown’ a verbal illusions, replies, "Forget it, Charley Brown. Forget it. Once the new people got to know you, you’d be right back where you started from."
The Lucies of this world represent the conventional wisdom: that we will never be accepted. That we will never know enough or be smart enough to be accepted. The Lucies of this world tell us that we are not much and never will be; they know that they know and we don’t.
Lucy is the snob who always has a car more with-it than yours and wears fashions which make your clothes hopelessly dated, because you just don’t get it. Lucy is the man about town, the social butterfly, who is always out having a new and exciting experience, seeing the latest movies, hearing the hippest music, in the know and on the go. The Lucies of this world parade their knowledge, and it really bugs the rest of us who feel as though we can never measure up. The rest of us are Charley Browns, always a day late and a dollar short. We just don’t keep in tune with what’s happening. We don’t know.
One of the ingredients of a healthy life is knowledge. We need, if we are going to live in a healthy way, to know. To know that what we know is worth knowing, and that we are not being deluded by some sort of falsehood. Nothing is more disconcerting than to be with a group of people all of whom know something you don’t know. And until you know what you know and know that it is worth knowing, you will not be healthy. Got that? Until you know what you know and know that it is worth knowing, you will not have a healthy mind. Let me put that positively. A healthy mind knows what it knows and knows that it is valuable; it does not dwell on what it does not know, but uses to the full what it does know.
Have you ever been to the kind of gathering where everyone seems to be talking a foreign language? I have. I’ve been to meetings where I could not keep up, because they were speaking about things which were Greek to me. Meetings where they were talking about things which they assumed that any twit would know, but I didn’t.
I remember being at one such gathering where everyone \vas prattling on about something called neuro-linguistic programming. Neuro-linguistic programming: How does that grab you? An awesome, impressive name, but I didn’t have the foggiest notion what they were talking about. Frankly, it sounded ominous, like creating some sort of Frankenstein monsters. So I got up enough courage to ask the fellow sitting next to me if he could offer a quick and dirty description of this thing, this new knowledge, neuro-linguistic programming. I was rewarded for my efforts with a long stare over the top of his glasses, and an acid comment to the effect that if I didn’t have the background for it, his explanation would do me no good. You don’t know? Well, obviously, you wouldn’t understand! That was pretty intimidating!
But remember: a healthy mind knows what it knows and knows that it is worth knowing. A healthy mind is not intimidated by what it does not yet know.
This morning I want you to see that the message of Christmas is that Christ is our knowledge. Christ is the wisdom of God, and in Him are gathered up all things worth knowing. And, at the same time, I want you to see that whether you be wise or foolish, whether you be learned or ignorant, the wisdom of God is yours, and you will know. You will know and you will be known, you will be fully known, because of Christ.
The apostle Paul, in dealing with the church at Corinth, found himself struggling with people whose self-esteem was very low. They had been gathered together out of the least of the least: slaves and runaways, ex-prostitutes and one-time thieves, beggars and bumpkins, almost all of them. And most of all, they were ignorant; few had anything like what we would call even the basics of an education, and fewer still had any degree of sophistication. Let’s face it. They were the dregs of their society, yet it was they whom the apostle had pulled together as a church, it was they whom he dared to call the Body of Christ.