Stupidity & True Freedom

MLK2016

I woke up thinking about Dr. King today, along with millions of others. I’m thankful that what used to be a hollow day off from school and work has, by the grace and wisdom of God, come to mean much more. I love that we have a day to celebrate a man who devoted his whole life to the most worthy of things. He was a man of Truth, therefore gave himself to the business that Truth calls us to: peace, love, justice, equality, and more. May we only add such celebrations to our federal calendars. I am forever grateful that we can set aside a day to honor such an amazing and important man and his legacy.

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ignorance: lack of knowledge or information.

Conscientious: 1. governed by conscience; controlled by or done according to one’s inner sense of what is right; principled: 2. (of a person) wishing to do what is right, especially to do one’s work or duty well and thoroughly.

Stupidity: behavior that shows a lack of good sense or judgment.

 

There are so many words of wisdom I could share today in remembrance of Dr. King, but as I was reading some of his more famous quotes, the above stood out to me. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Someone who is ignorant is unaware and uninformed. Someone who is “stupid” does have knowledge but chooses a behavior that ignores knowledge. There are countless reasons for stupidity, but I only want to highlight a simple, yet powerful idea that was revealed in something I was reading today.

Psalm 119: 45

“I will walk in your freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.” (NIV)

“And I’ll stride freely through wide open spaces as I look for your truth and your wisdom.” (The Message)

“And I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts.”  (ESV)

I underline the action part of this to emphasize one thing. In this verse it says if we seek truth, we will find freedom. I will walk in freedom because I have sought truth. It can be an uneasy thing to seek truth and accept it. It is so contrary to our nature, so foreign that it can scare us. Letting go of our ignorant ways of thinking can bring fear to the surface, but it is the road to freedom. On this day of celebration and remembrance of a man who knew and preached truth, I want to encourage people to open their minds and toss aside stupidity. When you seek truth, you will find it, but the next step is letting the false ideas that cover the truth escape your minds and hearts, even if it scares you.

 

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