THE DANGERS OF IGNORANCE
“Also, that the soul be without knowledge, it is not good…” (Proverbs 19:2 a)
As we proceed further in the ‘seven dangers’ series, we next look at the dangers of ignorance.
First and foremost, we must try to identify and clearly define what ignorance is (or what it is not); this is so because we often misunderstand the term or many people tend to mis-use it to the point that it means little or nothing to a whole lot of people. It has been taken to mean illiteracy in so many climes. To some it means stupid and to others, a lack of care/emotion.
For a better understanding, ignorance is not just been illiterate or uneducated; it connotes something deeper. It means a lack of knowledge, learning or information.
From the simple definition above we can deduce quite a lot of things and of course one major fact is that we are all ignorant from birth. It is what we go through in life that keep us informed; a second fact is that while we may be well informed in an area of life, we may be completely or partially uninformed in other areas, in other words we all are ignorant about something, no matter how well learned we are.
As one writer puts it, ignorance is not a bad thing in itself, if that thing we are ignorant about is not a necessary or important part of our lives.
As a Christian, we may be ignorant about so many things but the word of God. It is the worst type of ignorance when a believer is uninformed about the tenets of God. As a matter of fact, it is an offence for a Christian to lack knowledge of God’s doctrines; this is because the resultant effect is SIN. This is irrespective of whether the sinner knows or not (Lev. 4:2). Ignorance is not an excuse, be watchful.
James 4:17 ‘Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.’ This verse might be an absolute shocker to so many Christians who choose to ignore the truth or some that may try to bend it to their convenience. Again I say, Ignorance is not an excuse, be watchful.
Regarding the sins we indulged in ignorance (by omission or commission), the bible has this to say in Acts chapter 3. Verse 17 says “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.” However in verse 19, the bible explicitly states thus “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” So you see brethren that ignorance is not an excuse.
Now the question is how do we overcome ignorance?
The answer is very simple, study. This is the most effective way we can acquire knowledge. As it is with the secular world, so is it with spiritual things. An individual who seeks to become a lawyer for instance must study law (go through law school among other requirements), so it is with the believer; we as Christians are required to study the bible to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Tim. 2:15).
It is also important that we seek out more knowledgeable people to learn from, just as we do in academics; for even Paul was taught by Gamaliel (Acts 22:3), just as Christ taught the apostles, among many other biblical examples.
We must also take the things we have been taught in church and seek them out in the scriptures just as the Bereans did in Acts 17:11. It makes the Christian believer fully furnished and dignified.
Finally we must abhor laziness and procrastination in acquisition of knowledge. This is contained in Proverbs 4:7, ‘Wisdom (knowledge, insight) is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.’
Remember these few words, “When we stray from God we become ignorant of His ways and of course we begin to decline and end up in sin.”
Further scripture references:
Hosea 4:6; Isaiah 59:2;Ephesians 4:18; Proverbs 22:3; Acts 17:30; 1 Peter 1:13-16 ; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10;Isaiah 5:13;Job 36:12