Do You Have to Spell It Out for God?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

Do you have to spell it out for God?

The Curse of Knowledge

“Mom, you’re not always clear. If you know what you want, it’s okay to ask for that. Be specific.”

My daughter Jenna is right. Sometimes I don’t make myself clear to others.

What are you talking about--cartoon

When I already know what I mean in my head, my words can take a shortcut. We all do this occasionally. It’s called the “curse of knowledge” bias.

I assume others are at the same starting point about the situation as I am. So I leave out details. I forget to add, “and can you please call me?” after I say, “I am hurting.”

Wouldn’t everybody already know that?

No. Of course not. It’s too much (as well as impossible anyway) to ask of each other. None of us are mind readers.

Well, except one.

He Already Knows

God knows us inside and out. We don’t have to explain ourselves to him. Or justify ourselves. Or try to convince him of anything.

Because God made us out of love and sustains us out of love, he is always acting out of love for us already.

Love is God’s default position toward us.

Granted, we might get in our own way of receiving his love. Or other people may try to block it. Or life itself can make us doubt it.

But his knowledge of us and his love for us are always there.

Because of this, when we talk with God, we can pray with confidence that he needs no backstory. We may go into detail if WE need to talk it out for ourselves, but we don’t have to fill in every detail for God’s sake.

We don’t have to get our wording just right for him to understand. Or to persuade him to act.

He knows. He loves. He acts.

We may need to continue spelling it out for each other (wise advice, Jenna).

But we don’t have to spell it out for God.

Featured Post—“Help Me, Jesus”

Lois explains it all so well. 

“We don’t have to reiterate to God what we’re fretting about. He already knows.”

It’s okay to simply say, “Help me, Jesus.”

Read all of Lois’s post here at her blog, then link up your own blog posts below.


Are you an over- or underexplainer? Share your thoughts in the comments.


I’m linking at these blog parties

1. Share 1 or 2 of your most recent CHRISTIAN LIVING posts. (No DIY, crafts, recipes, or inappropriate articles.) All links are randomly sorted.

2. Comment on 1 or 2 other links. Grace & Truth linkup encourages community.   

3. Every host features one entry from the previous week. To be featured, include this button or link back here on your post (mandatory to be featured, but not to participate).

Grace and Truth_Meet Hosts

We encourage you to follow our hosts on their blogs or social media.

MAREE DEE – Embracing the Unexpected
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LISA BURGESS – Lisa notes
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TAMMY KENNINGTON – Restoring hope. Pursuing peace.
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10 thoughts on “Do You Have to Spell It Out for God?
—Grace & Truth Linkup

  1. Laurie

    I have to laugh at your honesty. Of course we try to spell it out for God like we do for everyone else! Like that is needed!

    Thanks for hosting this week!

    Look forward to discovering!

    Ridge Haven Homestead
    Homestead Blog Hop

  2. Barbara Harper

    One story that has always stuck with me was when a friend was on the mission field. They received new coworkers, and, while they were fine people, they were just different personalities. They thought differently about nearly everything. Which wasn’t a problem, except sometimes there was a little undercurrent of tension over misunderstood motives or thoughts about how to do things. This friend spoke of taking a walk in order to spend some time in prayer, and finding herself over-explaining to God. She realized she didn’t have to do that, that He understood her completely, and it was such a relief. That relief was almost palpable as she told the story. Sometimes I’ll find myself in the middle of telling God all the details about a situation and find myself stopping and saying, “Well, you know, Father.”

    But sometimes, as your daughter said, I know what I want yet am hesitant to say. Just last night I shared a Christmas idea with my daughter-in-law–her mom really doesn’t have to get me anything. And, honestly, I’d rather we parents-in-law didn’t exchange gifts with each other. But she comes from a culture where gift-giving is a big thing. Yet she’s often at a loss for what to give me, so I came up with an idea. Yet I stopped short of specifying colors I’d like. I don’t know why. Maybe I felt that was asking too much? Thankfully we don’t have to feel that way with God. We can lay our wants before Him and trust Him to say yes or no as He sees fit.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Great examples of this, Barbara. I agree; culture often can come into play with how much or how little we need to explain to others. And I also agree that thankfully we don’t have to worry about asking for too much with God. We can trust him with the appropriate answers.

  3. David

    Beautiful description of God’s love and knowledge. Trying to explain myself — noticing where I ‘m reticent — often helps, but knowing I can just call “Dear Lord, I am falling — catch me!” is … such a shocking and moving thing to remember.

  4. Stacey Pardoe

    Lisa! It’s been a long time since we’ve connected! So blessed to read your words today! I love this: “Because of this, when we talk with God, we can pray with confidence that he needs no backstory. We may go into detail if WE need to talk it out for ourselves, but we don’t have to fill in every detail for God’s sake.” I hope you are well. I will be trying to link up more often again, and I cannot wait to glean from your wisdom more often!

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