What do I do with someone who thinks they know it all?
Perhaps you've discipled someone who thinks they have it all figured out whether it be ministry or the Bible or just life in general. It's easy to respond in unhealthy ways to these people of trying to one up them, humble/humiliate them, ignore them and so on.
So what really is a healthy way to respond to them? How can we really love them (do what's in their best interest)? First we need to realize if someone struggles with arrogance or pride, just teaching them something is not really going to work. They need to discover it for themselves with the help of the Holy Spirit. We get the privilege of creating opportunities where the Holy Spirit can work. If we provide them with opportunities to step out in faith, it causes them to depend on the Lord (which depending on the Lord only happens when we see or feel our need to).
One thing you can do with them is put them in situations to teach action-oriented things (not theory). For instance, you can affirm them and then suggest and help them set up a time to take so and so young Christian out to share the Gospel.
Asking them questions also does wonders. Things like, "How would you help someone overcome doubt?" "How would you help someone take a step to go on a missions trip?" "How would you help someone be confident in raising support for a missions trip?" "What key things does a Bible study need to thrive?" How would you help a new believer have a quiet time?" "What would you do to help a new believer know how to share the Gospel?" "How would you help someone prioritize their relationship with God?" If their confidence is really unfounded, these questions (as well as others you think of) will help them humble themselves and become learners. However sometimes someone has an appropriate level of confidence we can assume is arrogance. If they can answer these questions perhaps we just need to give them more opportunities to lead. Sometimes perceived arrogance is not really arrogance but someone not being appropriately challenged.
Laura, the founder of Missional Women is married and has five kids. Laura and her husband have been missionaries to college students for 12 years serving with Master Plan Ministries and has authored 5 books. You can find her at the places below.
In the works...