Illustration by Jakub Šalmí

There is a saying that goes “Ignorance is bliss”, which has brought about many arguments on whether or not it’s true. I believe in order to be blissful in ignorance, one would have to be ignorant of their ignorance. That’s a mouthful, let’s go back to basics. What is Ignorance? It is a lack of understanding or information about something. The paradox of ignorance is that it is neither pure nor simple. It is both an accusation and a defence (“You are ignorant!”. “Yes, but I didn’t know!”)

The war between good and evil boils down to knowledge and ignorance. Jesus tells us that “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. This means if you are ignorant of the truth, you won’t be set free. The enemy knows that Ignorance of God’s word is the most effective weapon he can use against us believers in Christ which is why he tries to keep believers from knowing the truth. He is after all, the father of lies (John 8:44). Ignorance is not bliss because the enemy will use what you don’t know regarding the word of God against you.

A better way to understand ignorance, or the lack of knowledge, is probably to figure out what knowledge is. knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something. The war between good and evil can be thought of as light and darkness. Knowledge is a metaphor for light distinct from the darkness which is a metaphor for ignorance. When it is dark, we cannot observe or recognize anything. We are kept in ignorance. But when there is light and day, we can find our way around. When we have knowledge of God, we can find our way and walk in purpose but when believers are ignorant, complacent or apathetic about God’s character, calling and purposes, they miss the majesty of his handiwork.

Charles H. Sprugeon, one of the most influential preachers in the 1800s tells a story of the time he visited an old woman’s house. The woman was once a servant in the house of a very rich old man and before the rich man passed away, he gave the woman a piece of paper. The old woman could not read, but thought the design on the paper was so pretty that she framed it. When Charles visited the old woman, he had to tell her that the framed piece of paper was a cheque with lots of money. God gave us many promises in the bible but like that lady, we can’t claim them if we don’t know them, ignorant.

The illusion of ignorance is that one may think they are justified simply because they didn’t know they were in the wrong but even God himself says “My people perish because they lack knowledge”. God wants us to have knowledge and, in his sovereignty, he won’t force us. God’s sovereignty doesn’t negate human responsibility, we have a role to play. If we don’t play our part, we are giving the enemy room and power and he will introduce us to counterfeit. The devil tried to trick Jesus in the wilderness but Jesus was able to overcome because he had the knowledge of the scripture and whom he was.

It is important for you as a child of God to be alert and aware of the schemes of the enemy and also to continue to grow in knowledge of God’s word which has the power to protect you from the lies of the enemy and to change your life. The compromise of ignorance is that it makes you live in a spiritual fog, knowing God is there but ignorant, complacent, and apathetic about God’s purposes for you. As a result, you may miss on his promises or even on salvation.

Categories: knowledge

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