Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Am I revealing my ignorance?

The greater our knowledge increases the more our ignorance unfolds. (John F. Kennedy)

Imagine that you are a well-studied, perhaps even having accumulated a few degrees you proudly display on your walls, yet lacking in all manner of common sense. If you don't think this is possible, look again! We are told to value the degrees we can amass - gaining more and more education from our books and halls of learning - yet we oftentimes forsake common sense when we need to count on it the most! While scripture clearly encourages us to be open to 'new ideas', we are also reminded of the importance of learning 'good judgment' in light of all our 'new knowledge'.

The intelligent man is always open to new ideas. In fact, he looks for them. (Proverbs 18:15)
Now teach me good judgment as well as knowledge. For your laws are my guide. (Psalm 119:66)

It was Kennedy who also reminded us there were risks and costs to our every action - as well as the risks of inaction. I think he may have been reminding us to consider both - the risks of action can never be considered apart from the corresponding risks of inaction. This is where we often find ourselves in a quandary. We consider only one-side of the matter, focusing so clearly on that 'side' that we forget there is always more to be considered - some of it quite worthwhile, others not worth our attention.

Common sense isn't the only way to view a matter - neither is the lesson learned merely from the pages of the books. There is one 'book' we study that gives us both 'lessons' in common sense and in truth we can put our trust in at all times - the Bible. Even in terms of the study of these hallowed pages, our ignorance can come into full light! It is there we can be 'undone' - revealing just how much knowledge we thought we possessed, yet living completely ignorant of how to live consistently by that knowledge.

This is why we need to rely upon more than just the book-learning of the Word of God. We need the tutelage of the Holy Spirit and of those who have already figured out how to live by what is contained within these pages. It is 'good judgment' we often lack, not knowledge. We learn that 'good judgment' not in the halls of education, but in the moments we spend at his altar each day just soaking in what he will teach us there. Just sayin!

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