Thursday, December 12, 2013

UGW Q11c: Deliberate Ignorance

            Now, that’s all about the first main problem that we need a wake-up call in.  And here’s the other - deliberate ignorance.  Deliberate ignorance not only affects our economy because we choose to deliberately ignore the fact that we spend more than we make, but it also affects the health of our minds and bodies and society as a whole.
            When it comes to our minds, I think that many of us do not give much thought to what we allow into them.  We choose to be ignorant of the effects of the things that we shouldn’t be watching, reading, listening to, and thinking about.  And we excuse it with, “It won’t affect me.”
          But it does.  We are just fooling ourselves if we believe that it has no effect on the quality of our thought-life and our relationship with others and the Lord.  Setting our minds on the wrong things also pulls our desires and feelings in the wrong direction.  If you read the romance novels, you might just end up unhappy with your “boring” marriage.  If you go to the strip clubs or flirt with those around you, you might become unhappy with what you have at home.  If you visit a lot with negative people, you might find yourself turning into a gossip or a grouch.  What we allow into our minds does have an effect on who we become.  So we need to be more careful and discerning about these things. 
            Now, when it comes to our health, it’s no wonder that we have so many health issues with all the processed, fake, unhealthy food that we eat and the soda that we drink.  And not only do we process it in unnatural ways, but we raise our produce and the animals that we eat in unhealthy ways.  Feeding dead cows to other cows!?!  Feeding corn, corn, and more corn to grass-eaters!?!  And then there’s genetic modification, which I don’t think God ever intended.  (Look up the bad consequences of that online, and see if you can support it.)  And besides our food, there are all the toxic substances in our household products, in the many vaccines that we inject directly into our babies’ developing bodies, and in all the plastic that we surround ourselves with.  There’s fluoride in the water, against our wills, and layers of chemicals on the neighbors’ lawns.  The list goes on and on. 
            (And before you judge me for being too far “out there,” let me ask if you carefully researched all of these things before forming an opinion about them.  Because I did!  I truly believe that if everyone researched things for themselves - instead of just believing what the companies or those in charge tell you - we would not allow things to be the way they are.  And if you're interested, there's a great book on vaccines that gives you the history of each disease and the risks of vaccinating or not:  The Vaccine Guide: Making an Informed Choice by Randall Neustaedter.) 
            There are prices to be paid for doing things unnaturally, in a way that God didn’t design it or intend it to be.  But we never stop to think about that.  All we think is, “Look how much easier, cheaper, or faster we made it.”  And then, when all this bad stuff catches up with us, we start taking all sorts of pills and medications as quick fixes for our problems, instead of making wiser decisions about how we live. 
            Doctors and medicine have an important place in our society and I appreciate many of the scientific advances that have been made, but I fear that too many of us face unnecessary ailments because we make unwise, deliberately-ignorant choices.  But the thing is, we don’t really want to know the truth about things because we don’t want to put the effort into changing our lives.  We would much rather do the easy thing: take a pill.  But then we complain about the condition we are in and we ask God why He let this happen.  And the cost of our health care rises.  And we raise another generation of unhealthy, ignorant children. 
            I once talked with a young mother (seventeen years old) who regularly gave her baby daughter bottles of Kool-Aid.  And I told her my concerns about that and about what it could do to her child.  (I don’t normally offer unsolicited advice, but this was family.)  But instead of seeking to learn or to consider my advice, she got indignant that I dared to question her.  And she made sure to spoon up big spoonfuls of frosting right in front of me and plop them into her eight-month-old’s mouth. 
            “Mmm, she just looovvves frosting,” the mom cooed.  I knew what she was doing.  She was trying to spite me and spurn my attempts to help her.  She was showing me that no one will tell her what to do; she couldn’t possibly do anything wrong.  (Can’t say that I haven’t had that attitude before myself.)  And she said, “I will never deny my daughter anything that she wants to make her happy.”   
            I was sad inside for her, but I was even more sad for her daughter.  “Never denying a child anything that makes them happy” is a sure recipe to raising a spoiled, unhealthy brat (which is basically what my mom told her.  Good job, Mom!), a child that could very well die of chronic illness before their time.  But, hey, at least they were happy, right?  If you’re going to go, go with a big smile and frosting all over your face, right!?!  
            Parents should be doing all they can to give their children the most promising futures possible, raising them with morals, values, faith in God, and with healthy minds and bodies.  A baby can’t decide for itself how it should eat.  Yet, it will have to pay the consequences for the parent’s poor choices.  And when they do, the parents will cry out, “Why?  Why is this happening to me and my child?”          
            I think that many times, when we cry out “Why?”, what we are really asking is, “God, why didn’t You reach down and prevent me from facing the predictable and to-be-expected consequences of my own decisions and actions?”  We sure do want our freedom to choose, but we expect that God should protect us from any bad consequences of our choices.  It’s sad that we never stop to consider our own responsibility in creating the mess, but we blame God when the consequences catch up with us.  And then we use it as an excuse to lose faith in Him. 
            And sadder still is that we don’t learn from our mistakes or from the mistakes of those around us.  And we never stop to evaluate what we are currently doing and how it might affect us later.  We don’t put the time and effort into seeking wisdom and practicing the self-control necessary for the best future, health, marriage, etc., possible.  We continue to do whatever pleases us, until something goes wrong.  And then we cry, “Why, God?”
            I am writing this rather harsh appeal because I want to challenge us to rise up and be deliberate and conscientious about our lives.  About how we eat, how we spend our money and time, what we allow into our homes and minds, how we protect our marriages even before they start, and how we build and maintain our relationships with others and with God.  Let’s stop settling for lazy and comfortable.  And let’s start striving to live God-honoring lives - doing our best in all we do, for God’s glory.    

Posts in this "Understanding God's Will" series: