“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3
Ignorance. The state of not knowing.
When I was in high school, at Cedar Lake Academy, our math teacher, Mr. Franz, had a sign in his office that read, “Think education is expensive? Try ignorance.” I believe it might have also been Mr Franz that said, “You come into the world knowing nothing about everything. The purpose of education is to teach you everything about nothing.”
The thing is, when you’re completely ignorant of something, you really have no idea, no way of even reliably imagining, what it’s all about.
We come to Jesus ignorant of righteousness. We have no idea what it’s like to be a child of God. We haven’t the foggiest notion of what’s really involved in becoming a citizen of the kingdom of God.
But God accepts us anyway. And as soon as we’re accepted we begin to change. God starts the change. His love. His acceptance. His hope. His joy. They’re the fuel, our faith accepts, that produces the change. The faith can’t change us. It’s as ignorant as we are. But God knows and he can change us if we’ll stick with him.
As soon as the change begins we become incomprehensible to the world. It doesn’t understand or know us because it doesn’t know Him. Even if you’re related, by blood or marriage, the difference your relationship with God can bring can erect tremendous barriers of misunderstanding. More insurmountable than any cultural differences is the difference that comes with being a child of God.
And we don’t even know where the change is taking us. What wickedness, however subtle, needs to be rooted out? What righteousness, however unappreciated, needs to be instilled? We could list the fruit of the spirit, the subject that inspired this column more than two hundred posts ago, and even then we’d only be scratching the surface; for who among us can count himself better than a neophyte when it comes to the things of God? Which of us really understands what love is? It’s height? It’s depth? It’s privileges? It’s demands? And that”s just one of the characteristics of the fruit and we’re equally, profoundly ignorant of the rest as well.
There’s only one cure for ignorance. Education. And God has given us the Holy Spirit to be our teacher. The Bible is our text book. And life is the laboratory. The only thing we know about what God’s making of us is that he’s promised to make us like Jesus.
So the question comes today, like every other day. D you want to be like Jesus?