Who, me?#8. “Ignorant…?”

Who, me?#8. “Ignorant…?”

I knew an old lady who was “Not one to criticise.” She always insisted that a person should hold their opinions on the shortcomings of another until they understood life from the other person’s perspective. However, her philosophy was known to be tested on occasions. Strangely, the targets of her rare displays of frustration all seemed to fit the same profile. They were old men who were separately, or collectively, described as “Cantankerous!” “Bombastic!” or “Ignorant!” It was hard to hear an otherwise mild-mannered soul speak so bluntly.

No man, at any age, thinks himself capable of being “Ignorant.” That, to him, is the domain of the man who refuses to listen at any level. Any value for knowledge that might otherwise be assigned to him is negated by his overweening pride.

The apostle Paul was a man of great faith in God, and a scholar of the Old Testament. On the day that he found himself face-to-face with the Jesus – whose name he was trying to wipe from the face of the earth – he realised his true state. He told Timothy:
“…even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief” (1 Timothy 1:13).

Paul’s “ignorance in unbelief” did not disappear just because he saw Jesus. Despite the opinions of some, Paul could have set his face against Jesus—many others have! The reason that the “convincing proofs” on that Road to Damascus changed Paul was because he was already a godly man who sought to obey God’s commands as he knew them.

When Jesus shone light on the truth of his identity (The Messiah), he dispelled Paul’s ignorance. Paul had met Jesus and was ready to learn.

As Christians we are students of the Master Teacher. His instructions are forever correcting and improving our walk in the Spirit. Praise God!

May we never give anyone a reason to think us “Ignorant!”

John Staiger

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