Willful ignorance occurs when a person deliberately chooses to avoid becoming informed on a topic. Usually, the purpose is to keep from having to make decisions about the information. After all, ignorance can be bliss for a moment when the subject in question is negative, and there’s the old saying, “what we don’t know can’t hurt us.” But for a Christian, avoiding or rejecting one certain truth is even more dangerous than others. The Bible tells us, again and again, to “examine yourself,” to check to see if you are right in the sight of God. This is hard because it’s a process that involves finding out the information we just may not want to hear. But ignoring the truth doesn’t save us from the consequences of it. We must examine ourselves and make the changes God requires.
I know a man whose doctor recently called him to tell him that his blood sugar was too high. The man doesn’t like doctors and is determined to avoid medications, so when he got off the phone, he set himself to changing his diet and exercising more to lower the numbers. After about a week of his new health regimen, he was presented with a free blood sugar test to check to see if his efforts had been working. He declined.
This man’s blood sugar numbers are what they are whether he knows them or not. The difference is that knowing the numbers might just require a decision to change his behavior. While he may be happy for the moment believing that his methods will be successful in the long run, the consequences of not knowing that something is wrong in time to change are both real and dire.
Ecclesiastes 2:14 says, “The wise man’s eyes are in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. Yet I myself perceived that the same event happens to them all.”
We Must Know the Truth
The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all unrighteousness, and it is faith in His finished work alone that will save us. But how will we know when to apply the blood if we don’t examine ourselves, taking time to pray to ask God to show us the areas we might be falling short? What kind of faith do we have if the Bible tells us to walk in the light and we keep the truth of our own condition in darkness?
Making sure that we are right in the sight of God is the best way to please our Father while closing all the doors that would allow the enemy inside our lives. The last days hold many pitfalls for the child of God. It is essential that we have everything out in the open. If there are issues that might cause problems for our future, with God’s help, we can change them. He will always forgive us and cleanse us when we ask Him.
Knowing the Truth Protects Us
Ephesians 6:14 says that truth is a belt that holds the other pieces of our spiritual armor in place. Psalms 91:4 says that God’s truth shall be our shield and buckler (a smaller shield to parry specific blows). Truth protects us from the enemy’s deception. It also protects us from deceiving ourselves. Galatians 6:3 says, “For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Likewise, James 1:22 says that when we read the Bible but don’t make an effort to conform our lives to the truth found there, we are deceiving ourselves. Are there areas of your life you aren’t conforming to the Word of God?
Truth Sets Us Free
John 8:34 says that he who commits sin is a slave to sin, and Romans 6:23 says that the wages of sin is death. Sin is a snare and a trap. It leads to a slippery slope of other sins and wiggles its way into our hearts over time. Hebrews 3:12 tells us that it is deceitful, causing a slow hardening of our hearts (toward God). But John 8:32 says that when we know the truth, it sets us free. Are there areas of your life you have sins that you don’t even recognize?
Truth Sanctifies Us
John 17:17 says that the truth sanctifies us. The word sanctify in Greek is “hagiazō.” It comes from the same root word as the word “saint.” Truth sets us apart for His purposes. In John 15:3, Jesus tells His disciples that their belief in His Word made them clean. Jesus is Truth, and salvation comes when we accept who He is and who we are in Him. Are there areas of your life you are limiting His work with unbelief?
Ask God to Show You Your True Condition
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”Psalm 139-23:24
Assuming that we are okay just because we haven’t felt God’s conviction isn’t what the Bible tells us to do. The Bible says we are to examine ourselves, asking God’s help to see what we can’t on our own. God is a loving Father. He wants what is best for us, and He will help us find the areas in our lives that might need attention. It may “hurt” for a minute to discover a place where we are not pleasing to God, but we will feel so much better after He has helped us conform to His will and way.
Examine yourself. Pray and ask God to show you if there are areas of your life that you are not conforming to the Bible (these could be actions or even attitudes). Ask Him to show you anything that might be a sin without your knowledge (idolatry, rebellion, and pride are sneaky sins that try to masquerade as love, self-sufficiency, and righteousness). Finally, ask Him to show you any areas of unbelief. With God’s help, we can be made right in His eyes and ready to face whatever the future holds.
Looking for other Points to Ponder? Try Don’t Limit the God of the Hills and Valleys. Or, try The Desires of the Heart: What’s Your One Thing? Please sign up to receive my blog in your email in-box. You can find that at the upper right of your screen (or at the bottom on a phone). Also, check out my YouTube Channel where I read the blogs out loud. I also have a playlist of hymns from my church.