Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Posted November 2, 2007

Ignorance Is Not Bliss

A priggish little old lady inquiring about a European tour was told by the travel agent that one particular tour included the famous Oberammergau Passion Play. Misconstruing the word “passion” she indignantly exclaimed, “I’m tired of all this sex stuff; and now it’s even featured as a travel highlight! Shame on you!” With that, she stormed out of the office.

“Ignorance has something to be said for it,” Mark Twain once quipped, “It gives rise to about nine-tenths of the world’s conversational output.” But certainly much ignorance fits into the moral category of “inculpable” or “invincible” ignorance. Jesus refused to consider anyone a sinner who acts in ignorance; the soldiers crucifying him were ignorant of his divinity, so he prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk23:34).

Many times we do not know the evil we’re doing, but even when we are aware of it, we can still in a way remain ignorant – ignorant of how much we are loved by God, in spite of our sin. If we knew of God’s awesome love for us, how differently we would act!

Ignorance of God’s love for us leaves us in a kind of spiritual darkness. Jesus, asking his Father to pardon his executioners on the basis of ignorance, intimates that this “darkness” – that of not knowing the gift of God’s love – is a sad deprivation. Let us be always ready to let his love shine brightly in our souls.

“One-Minute Mediations for Busy People”