She was prancing straight for the deep end with her eyes closed. She wasn’t supposed to be in the deep end. She couldn’t swim. Would my daughter know when to stop? I thought. Sitting up quickly on the pool chair, I called her name. She was oblivious to anything around her. I looked in the direction of the life guard who had already spotted the dire situation. Just as she took the step that would have put the water over her head, the life guard had his arms around her. She had been rescued.
The thing was my daughter didn’t know she was in danger. She was ignorant of her near over the head without ability to swim experience. If she had kept going without being rescued, she would have done so to her own destruction.
We sometimes do this in our Christian life. We prance through life oblivious to the things around us. We are unaware of the trouble we’re about to get ourselves in. We are ignorant to what’s going on. We find ourselves in our own self-destruction. We find ourselves over our head in pain, sorrow, and regret. We are unstable in our ability to make decision or even know which way to go. All this because we are “ignorant”.
Does it matter you don’t know?
To be ignorant is to be unaware. It is not always harmful to be unware. Does it matter you don’t know the elevation of Mt. Everest? Are you going to be harmed if you don’t know what year WWI ended?
Alternatively, if you are in an airport and have to board your flight at a certain gate, it would be harmful if you didn’t know the gate number or if you were ignorant of the time you need to arrive.
To be ignorant is to be unaware.
As Christians we should avoid self-destruction. To do this, we are strongly urged to grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. Peter encourages his readers in this so they would not be ignorant. In 2 Peter 3:16, Paul explains ignorance leads to self-destruction. It is in the things we “don’t know” we cause ourselves the most harm.
Q: How can we avoid self-destruction?
A: Avoid Ignorance
Peter explained that some people chose not to fully understand the scriptures which caused their perspective of God and their circumstances to be distorted. Peter summarized the way to avoid self-destruction is to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Grace is favor, blessing, benefit. Grow in grace.
John, the beloved disciple, described Jesus in John 1:14 as “full of grace and truth”. John had learned Jesus was controlled by His benevolent favor. The outpouring of His care and concern was a distinguishing characteristic of the Christ. John went on to say that the wholeness of Jesus caused all who came in contact with Him to receive favor upon favor, help upon help, gift upon gift. Hearing what John says about Jesus from the scriptures, helps us to understand the vast supply of God’s favor, help, and fullness. The more we understand His vast supply to help us in every situation and His willingness to help, the more we grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. We will not be ignorant – but we will be aware. This awareness is a way to avoid our self-destruction.
The next opportunity we have to avoid self-destruction is to grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior.
How much do you really “know” about Jesus, your Savior?
If you took a blank piece of paper, how long could you write before you listed everything you know about your Messiah?
The Queen of Sheba had “heard” some things about King Solomon. When she met him for herself, she said they hadn’t told her half of what she’d experienced.
A few years have passed since the day my daughter had to be rescued at the pool. Now when she prances with her eyes closed toward the deep end, there is no cause for alarm. She has grown in her ability to swim and knowledge of the water. When she gets in over her head, she knows how to maneuver to keep herself afloat.
The same will be true of you too. Your over the head experiences will come but the growth in the grace and in the knowledge of your Savior will prevent your self-destruction.
Avoid self-destruction by growing in the grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. Begin today. Take a sheet of paper. List everything about the favor of your Savior and everything you know about your Savior. Then, add one new grace and one new piece of knowledge as often as you can. The best way to add to the list is to read and understand the Bible for yourself. Read every day and add to your list every day.
As you grow in the grace and in the knowledge of your Savior you will be very aware of your surroundings. You will not self-destruct. You will find you have God with you in the midst of your pain, sorrow, and regret. You will know the next step to take, and have stability in your decisions. Avoid self-destruction . . .