Lamenting blissful ignorance

Published 8:22 pm Friday, January 27, 2012

By Chris Surber

Ignorance abounds. Is it not fascinating that in a time of such rapid and immediate transfer of information, how much information is biased, laden with myths and half-truths, how much of it is imprecise, chock full of lies, or is just plain wrong?

When I signed up for an email account 15 years ago, I never anticipated the need to fact check half of my emails at online fact checking websites! I am astonished at how much data is available and how precious little of that data is processed into knowledge and then transformed into knowledge’s twin sisters, truth and wisdom.

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Sadly, a great deal of unawareness is the consequence of honestly not having been given an opportunity to gain information. More than a few deprived souls in our land have inherited a disdain for knowledge. If a person has never been exposed to a certain area of knowledge, that person doesn’t even know what questions to ask. You simply don’t know what you don’t know.

As often, however, ignorance is the consequence not of an inability to learn but of a refusal to be taught. I’m reminded of that most stubborn American philosopher of a half generation ago, Archie Bunker, who once remarked, “Sayin’ grace — it’s just thankin’ Mother Nature, whose first name just happens to be Grace.”

As necessity is the mother of invention, so too, foolishness is the offspring of pride, which so often fuels an unwillingness to be taught. Ol’ Archie reminds us of the fool’s willingness to bask in his folly, rather than fill the deficit of his knowledge with truth and wisdom.

There is no greater poverty than that of a mind laboring day and night on folly for a lack of having fed itself the nourishment of knowledge. What does it profit a person to have the ability to read if it is wasted on street signs alone? What does it profit anyone to possess working ears if he only listens to the contemptible sounds of his own uninformed voice?

I lament the footsteps of the infrequent visitor to Lady Wisdom’s parlor of learning! If God has created us for anything in this life, surely it is to learn from the wonder of His creation, the beauty of His Word, and the worth of His Son.

My friend, get wisdom! Get understanding! Wisdom is an inheritance far superior to any earthly wealth. When all of the gold and treasures of this world fade, the wisdom of God will endure.

“Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.” (Proverbs 4:7 NIV84)