I am basically ignorant of many aspects of my culture—math, science and music to name a few. I know just enough to know I don’t know much. I could learn so much more of the universe should I choose to invest the time, effort, and perhaps money toward that goal. However, I willfully choose to enjoy other areas of life such as language. Therefore I am ignorant in the sense of refraining from noticing and regarding information—ignoring it. The real meaning of ignorant is lack of knowledge, uninformed and unaware rather than being dull of mind and wits as it is sometimes used nowadays. Those who willfully ignore become ignorant or lack knowledge or learning about a particular subject.

When this attitude is present in one’s spiritual life it is much more dangerous than in the secular area. It might lead one to be, “ignorant and unstable and distort the scriptures.” (2 Pe 3:16) Others could store up wrath from God because of their “stubbornness and unrepentant heart.” (Rom 2:5) Those who are ignorant of God need to, “come back to their senses.” (1 Cor 15:33-34) One cannot be like the scoffers who followed their own evil desires by ignoring God’s patience concerning his coming again. (2 Pe 3:3-9) Paul told some would-be prophets, “…what I am writing is the Lord’s command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.” (1 Cor 14:37-38)

IF one ignores or outright rebels towards God’s eternal power and divine nature, that one is without excuse (Rom 1:20) and has, “refused to love the truth and so be saved.” (2 Thes 2:10-12)

Finally, some good news. If one is not delighting in his wickedness nor willfully ignoring God’s commands, he can rejoice and take comfort in the scripture that says, “He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray.” (Heb 5:2) God did not ignore ignorance in past times but He did overlook it until now when He commands all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30) We can follow such an example by, “….having patience and overlooking an offense.” (Pr 19:11)

—-Jim Bailey