Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Know and Be Known

Twenty years ago, I moved from New York City to a much smaller city in Florida. More of a small town, actually. I welcomed the fresh air, the slower pace, and the improved quality of life.

But I also needed to make some adjustments…

  • About a week after our move, after a particularly long day unpacking boxes, we tried getting a pizza delivered. Several phone calls later, we discovered nothing remained open after 10PM.
  • The satellite post office near our home closed for lunch each day.
  • I was late for church one morning because a cow stood in the road and a sheriff’s deputy blocked the street with his car while we waited for the cow to move.

One of the biggest adjustments I had to make was in realizing I could not leave the house without running into someone I knew. Someone from church or from our neighborhood. Someone from the interdenominational Bible study I attended or from the non-profit agency where I volunteered. The anonymity of living in a big city disappeared faster than a bag of M&Ms® at a chocoholic’s convention.

But that was nothing compared to what I’ve experienced lately on the Internet. Facebook seems to know exactly what ads fit my interests. One order on the Barnes & Noble website resulted in emails touting products geared to my interests. The website contains detailed information about me and anyone for whom I might be searching.

Total strangers seem to know me very well.

To know and be known – truly known – is our deepest desire. Even the apostle Paul noted, “Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (I Corinthians 13:12).

God created us to know and be known. He created us to be intimately related to Him. He revealed Himself in His Word using a variety of names and attributes to help us know who He is and how He works. We learn from His Word that He is perfectly righteous and just, absolutely faithful and merciful, and truly trustworthy and holy. And because He is who He is, we can trust the most intimate facets of our life to Him. His Spirit resides in His children and nothing surprises Him – He knows the ugliest details and loves us anyway.

When we’re in a right relationship with the Lord, we’ll have the confidence to be vulnerable and transparent in our relationships with others. To know and be known is a gift, not just with God, but with fellow travelers on the road of life.

If you’re not as intimate with the Lord as you would like, what will you do about it?

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  1. Cindy Zuidema

    Love this! Thank you Ava!

  2. Rayma Zugel

    To be known, really known, by somebody is to allow them to see the good, the bad, and the ugly in us. I praise God He accepts all of me and that I don’t have to pretend to be somebody I’m not.

  3. Ava Pennington

    Yes, Rayma, the freedom to be transparent!

  4. Bonnie Dorsey

    Thank You Ava,this was good. Ask myself How well am I known and what for.

  5. Evie Boyle

    Amen!!! Wise words!!!

  6. Jeanne Takenaka

    Though it can be unsettling for Facebook and my web browser to show me ads based on what they think they know about me, I am thankful the Father of Lights knows me fully . . . and loves me anyway.

  7. Melinda Viergever Inman

    I’m glad that being known by the Lord is MUCH BETTER than being known in a small town or on Spokeo. LOL. I, too, like the anonymity of living in a larger city, and yet the internet shrinks the world. I’m glad the Lord really knows me, even better than my spouse. It’s a wonderful reality to be known fully and totally, and yet also to still be loved.

  8. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Melinda and Jeanne.
    Yes, it is a wonderful reality that our heavenly Father knows us best…and still loves us best!

  9. Karen Friday

    Ava, hilarious story about the cow in the road. A few years ago, I went to a bridal shower. The name of the town was called “Stickleyville.” Twice I had to stop to let chickens cross the road…so I knew I was really in the sticks! 🙂

    Agree, to know and be known is a great gift from our Lord.

  10. Laura Gonzalez

    Im not as intimate with the Lord as i would like to be.
    Im working on that more and more.
    Focusing on speaking more to Him throughout the day. Trusting HIM in everything. Reading the Bible, more than other books, to know HIM better personally not thru someone else’s thoughts about HIM.

  11. Nancy E. Head

    Vulnerable and transparent. Necessary but not always easy. So very necessary. Thanks and God bless!

  12. Ava Pennington

    Thank you, Nancy – yes, difficult but necessary!

  13. Ava Pennington

    Laura – such good practices!

  14. Beth Bingaman

    It saddens me to think of how many in our culture are satisfied with the social media “knowing” because they do yet “KNOW” the Lord. May this post remind us all to engage with those we meet.

  15. Ava Pennington

    Yes, indeed, Beth.

  16. Jessica Brodie

    Being known truly is a gift. I grew up in a very big city (Miami) and thought I loved the anonymity until I later moved to a small town. I’ve since learned relationships (with others and especially with God) are everything!

  17. Ava Pennington

    Same here, Jessica!

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