Is Ignorance Bliss?

There really is something to that saying, “Ignorance is bliss.” The past couple of weeks my oldest son has been struggling at bed time. He’s six, and every so often we seem to go through the same thing. The sun starts to set and all of his fears – rational and irrational – leap out and take over his mind. I’m sure every parent out there can relate. Nights are tough for little people (and if we’re honest, nights are sometimes tough for us big people!).
We’re working through it; but in one of the conversations I had with him, he said something that really struck me. We were talking about his fears, and I said, “I don’t understand… when you were two you slept through the night without any problems. Why is it harder now that you’re older?” Without hesitation he replied, “Because I know more. I didn’t know anything when I was two. Now I know things, and those things make me afraid.” He had never heard the expression “Ignorance is bliss,” but he clearly understood the truth behind it. At six years old, he has seen and heard enough of the world to know there is plenty to fear. He has been awakened to uncertainty. He has come to feel his own vulnerability, and it has made him fearful.

Ignorance May be Bliss – Our Own Fear

How many of us can say the same? How many of us grow in fear daily as we see more of the world and feel more of our own vulnerability within it? Isn’t this true of all of us? The more we know, the more we know to fear. The world is a fear-producing place. We are lectured about the dangers of the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breath, the investments we make, the investments we don’t make. We watch the news, have a conversation with a coworker and read an article on the internet. As we do, our knowledge expands and our anxiety inevitably grows with it. Or does it?
You see, as I continued talking with my son I was able to share the truth that alters this seemingly hopeless situation. Greater knowledge of the world will increase fear UNLESS it is coupled with greater knowledge of God. If our knowledge of God increases at the same rate as our knowledge of life then fear will always be kept at bay. If we are learning the truths of God’s sovereignty, if we are filling our minds with the reality of His goodness and taking in a steady diet of His faithfulness, our hearts will not be victims to terror and anxiety as we watch the news. It is only when our knowledge of life outstrips the growth of our knowledge of God that we begin to fear.

Who is in Control

I know this sounds pretty drastic; but consider, if we truly believed our God was in control of every detail of our lives. And believed He was working all things towards a good end would we really feel so vulnerable in the world? If we truly believed God to be a faithful Shepherd Who “does not slumber or sleep” would we quiver at a change in the political world? If we really embraced the fact that we, as Christians, dwell beneath a friendly sky would we mind the threats of danger? Knowledge of God is our weapon. Knowing God’s character is our shield. The world is and always will be a frightening place. However our God is and will always be a mighty God.
Ignorance may be bliss, but unfortunately as my son will tell you – we can’t stay ignorant forever. Our hope lies in the very thing that threatens us – our hope lies in knowledge. Knowledge of life destroys bliss; but knowledge of God can resurrect it.

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