Why Is Ignorance Considered To Be Bliss?
February 10, 2023Guidance, Spiritual Intimacy
If someone says, “I don’t see,” it is usually a request for more information. When we say “I don’t care,” we admit we really do not want to know. The old saying “ignorance is bliss” is often quoted as a beloved response for having no interest in knowing or no desire to understand.
Consider what happens when our perceptions of life are inappropriate. When we understand bad behavior is normal, we tend to believe it is the right way to act. A lack of understanding can complicate our ability to do what is right and best. Jesus referenced such behavior when He said, “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (a) [see endnotes for Scriptures]
So, why is ignorance considered to be bliss? Is it because we are content with our erroneous perceptions and immature behavior?
God created our life on earth to involve natural and spiritual realities. We know our physical body comes from the earth and eventually returns to dust, while our spirit of life comes from God and eventually returns to the Eternal. (b) As our body equips us to interact with natural realities, our spirit equips and enables us to interact with our heavenly Father in this life.
The natural creation and all of its life forms are supported by the life flowing energies that come from the Eternal One. (c) This created universe is designed to function harmoniously, allowing both good (productive) and evil (destructive) activity to work hand-in-hand. Most productive activity involves degrees of destruction as what was, generally ends or is destroyed.
To help us be more productive than destructive, Jesus wisely admonished us to not only be open to God’s inspirational thoughts but to diligently pursue them: “I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For…whoever asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.” (d)
Our level of understanding exercises a huge influence over what we choose to eat, where we go, what we do, and how we treat each other. What we understand about God and life also impacts our relationships with family, friends, and co-workers as being good and productive or evil and destructive. Our perceptions also have an effect on our emotional and physical health.
God created us with the intention of developing and maturing us into His image and likeness. An intended potential however, is an invitation and not necessarily a guarantee during this life. As we seek God’s guidance and respond to His inspiring insight, our potential becomes more of a living reality. We are encouraged to pursue the productive good and right over the destructive evil.
Our heavenly Father offers to enlighten each of us, so we can understand. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (e)
God created us with the intention of developing and maturing us into His image and likeness.
Understanding the Spirit
While each person is an offspring of God’s Spirit and of man, (f) we generally are gifted with five senses to facilitate our ability to experience the realities of natural and spiritual life. As explained in our last blog, according to Scripture, our five senses have a spiritual component.
What we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste expands our overall understanding. Research sheds light on how our five senses register what we encounter. We register information according to these percentages: 83% by sight, 11% by sound, 3.5% by smell, 1.5% by touch, and 1% by taste. When we consider this ranking, is it any wonder we say “seeing is believing!?”
Our ability to see and perceive has a major impact on our ability to understand. The process of seeing speaks of our natural and spiritual sight and the perceptions we consider. Our five senses enable us to gather information from both realities and continue to develop as maturing children. (g)
Clarifying insights and a proper understanding lends tremendous value to our function in this world. Knowing how a tool is designed to function can ease many chores. Understanding why we exist and are designed to function, can improve our interaction with God and with each other.
As with natural sight, our ability to see spiritual realities is limited when we fail to consider new ideas that challenge or stretch current perceptions. Additionally, if we see, hear or comprehend something and do not stop long enough to entertain it, it can be forgotten before it is absorbed. Are we continuing to improve or just maintain our level of understanding and activity?
Our heavenly Father is faithful to reveal life impacting insight to seekers. Jesus even said “I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when…the Spirit of truth comes (to you), He will guide you into all the truth,” (h) that we are willing to accept. The spirit that resides in each of us gives us the inherent ability to receive God’s guiding insight.
The spirit that resides in each of us gives us the inherent ability to receive God’s guiding insight.
What God Wants Us To Know
Jesus instructed us to allow the Spirit of truth (God’s presence with us) to lead and guide us into more than what we currently understand. God desires to bring us into more truthful perceptions and greater understanding. We are even instructed to “be filled with understanding.” (i)
While no one has the capacity to fully comprehend all of the activity we encounter in either realm, Jesus said we can understand more fully when we seriously seek. The sincerity of our search and desire to understand has a significant effect on what we come to believe to be true.
We want to realize that what we already believe can complicate and hinder our ability to see and accept new insight. If we have expressed our views a few times, our commitment to them can become very strong and almost unchangeable. What we’ve proclaimed can be so rooted that new insight can make us feel threatened, as though our integrity is being called into question.
God wants us to know Him and understand. “Let him who boasts, boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things, declares the Lord.” (j)
While God loves us in whatever condition we are in, He desires that we grow and mature into better expressions of His character, attitude and personality (CAP). The abundant life God offers us becomes more of a reality when we have an enlightened understanding.
Ignorance is far from being a blessing. It’s been said, “it is better to be hurt by the truth than to be comforted by a lie.” Are we seeking to understand more of God’s insightful ways and purpose for our lives today? May we pursue more intently to understand God’s purpose for our day!
Let us arise from our sleepiness to be more effective witnesses of God’s grace and better members of the body of Christ (God’s anointed people).
If this resonates with your current walk, I encourage you to dig deeper into the resources on my website. Through many years of prayerful study of Scripture and listening to the Voice of God, many of the overlooked elements and foundational concepts of our Christian faith are coming to light. People find my books are easy to read and bring simple clarity and depth of understanding. We also provide a free Study Guide for each book and a Leader’s Guide to aid with small group discussions. Find answers to your personal faith journey here – www.relationalgospel.com.
Let us arise from our sleepiness to be more effective witnesses of God’s grace and better members of the body of Christ.
a) Luke 23:34; b) Ecclesiastics 12:7; c) Isaiah 42:5; Acts 17:24-25; d) Luke 11:9-10; e) Revelation 3:20; f) Acts 17:24-29; g) Hebrews 5:14; h) John 16:12-13; i) Colossians 1:9-10; 2:2-3; 3:10; j) Jeremiah 9:24;
Keith Carroll, “The Relationship Guy”
Relational Gospel Founder
Created To Relate author