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Are you ignorant?

Confucius said, "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." It might be uncomfortable to ask the question, but I will anyway - just how aware of your own ignorance are you? I looked at myself first when posing that question, so don't think I am meddling here. In truth, I really deny some of the areas of my life where I am ignorant - lacking in knowledge, untrained, unlearned. If I were to be truthful here, it isn't that I am lacking in the training as much as I am lacking in the learning! I repeat mistakes for this very reason. When the mistake is easily corrected, that may not be a big deal - when it is harder to correct or leaves lasting 'scars', it is a much bigger deal, isn't it? Ignorance can also be that we are unaware of something - an action we take when we might not even know what is behind that action or that we are taking it in the first place. Both are equally as important to consider today - if we remain 'ignorant' in any of these 'problem areas' within our lives, it is quite possible we will continue to fumble along making the same mistakes time and time again.

God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30-31)

Really focus on that first sentence of our passage today - God overlooks our bumbling around as long as we don't 'know better', but as soon as we 'know better' - there is no room left for excuses. I know how to act and how to show respect to others - do I always act well around others? Not always - sometimes I get a little too self-focused, intent on what I want, and I forget to show others respect. Do I really forget, or do I choose to ignore what I know? It may be a little of both, but if we are truthful with ourselves here, we oftentimes know something isn't right and choose to ignore the 'niggling feeling' to avoid that path. In essence, we are being ignorant - unlearned, but the good news is that we aren't untrainable! We are capable of learning new actions - we just have to choose them.

The time is past for making excuses for our short-comings and self-centered actions - those things we have really not been paying much attention to in our lives that are causing us to live far below the standard of righteousness that God requires of his kids. That may be a hard statement for some of us to swallow - because we aren't ready to let go of what should have remained in our past. God calls for a radical life change. Did you realize 'radical' means 'the root of the matter'? Radical comes from the Latin word meaning to 'have roots' or 'forming roots'. A radical life change means we deal with the roots - not just the surface stuff. We look first at where our roots are planted. If not in 'good soil', then it may be time for a 'transplant'. 

We look next at where those roots have embraced things that impede their growth and focus on removing those things. It might be our roots are a little too tightly 'coiled around' something we didn't want to deal with and have just left buried for all the years. We grew roots, but we coiled them around and around that hard place in our lives until the 'stone' became a part of our lives. Being transplanted doesn't mean we let go of the stones - it might take some work to dislodge the stone from the roots! If we don't want to allow ignorance to be our 'norm' we have to embrace truth - not just listen to it, but actually do what truth says. Sometimes we treat truth as 'advice' - we can take it or leave it depending on our mood. Truth isn't advice - it is the 'foundation' that we need even when we don't know we need it. Just sayin!

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