It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.
Since we are God’s children, you must not think that God is like something that people imagine or make from gold, silver, or rock. In the past, people did not understand God, and he ignored this. But now, God tells all people in the world to change their hearts and lives. (Acts 17:29-30)
God may let us get away with some things for a while, just because we really don't know any better. Let him begin to unfold the Word of God and his principles on how to live upright lives for a bit and he begins to ask for some change. Why? We are no longer ignorant - we know what is expected. Sometimes it does take quite a bit of knowledge to show us just how ignorant we have become - not because we are 'dumb', but because we have been influenced to ignore those things for so long. For a long time, God's people may go along, living as they want, then the day comes when they realize what they 'want' isn't exactly what God desires. Change is required. We are accountable for the knowledge we have been given and we cannot continue to just ignore those areas where God's Spirit is directing his attention.
This makes us a bit more than uncomfortable, because it is much easier to be ignorant of the need to change than to know one needs to change and ignores the instruction to change! Nothing makes us more fearful sometimes than the instruction to change what we are doing. I can recall some pretty uncomfortable discussions when others have been led to point out some ways I needed to change. My words were more hurtful than I intended - I needed to think before I spoke. My actions made others feel like their opinion didn't matter - I needed to give them time to express their ideas. My non-verbal communication made them feel I was better than they were - I needed to deal with my pridefulness. Ignorance was bliss - knowledge meant I needed to change.
When God tells us to change our hearts in some particular manner, how do we handle it? If you are anything like me, your first reaction might be to become a bit defensive - if not outwardly, at least on the inside. You might pout a bit - get quiet and withdraw. If we really want to see changed hearts, we must embrace what we may not know even exists within us. Changed hearts will yield changed lives. In other words, the knowledge of our ignorance begins to open up new choices. We choose to be cognizant of our words, non-verbal expressions, and actions. We choose to listen more than we speak. We choose to ask hard questions of ourselves - not just others.
As a child of God, we are no longer to dwell in our ignorance. In fact, we are to seek and develop wisdom. Do you know how to overcome ignorance? We take the knowledge we have been given and we put it into practice - we develop wisdom! Just sayin!
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