Vol.XV No.I Pg.8
March 1978

Stuff About Things

Robert F. Turner

In one Texas county the Judge was formerly a merchant, and well known as "one of the boys." An elderly citizen told me it was difficult to think of him as "Your Honor," for he remembered the prankster years. The old timer gave me this "ferinstance."

In the days when country people churned and traded butter for "storeboughten" things, a woman brought a pound of butter to the store. She explained that a mouse had gotten into the churn and drown, but "what folk don't know won't hurt them" so she would like to trade her butter for a pound brought in by someone else. The former merchant, now Judge, agreeing that "what folk don't know won't hurt them," took the contaminated butter into the back room, changed the wrapper on it, and brought it back to the delighted woman. If that Judge would change parties I'd vote for him.

But he was wrong about "what folk don't know won't hurt them." After a four-year intermission I returned to a church for another meeting. On the first day I nervously walked down the aisle, trying desperately to remember names of people I was supposed to know. Then I spotted a woman whom I recalled had the same name as mine. As I approached she arose, extended her hand, and said, "Do you remember me?" Confidently I replied, "Indeed I do; you have the best name in —————.

She said, "It stinks.'."' and sat down abruptly. Don't tell me "what you don't know won't hurt you." What I didn't know was that her husband (bearing my name, but no kin) had run off with another woman.

Of course, what you do know may also hurt you, but an intelligent effort can be made to avoid known pitfalls. When we have the capacity and the opportunity to learn, and just "cop out" on the game, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

And in the service of God, the lack of interest in truth may be the greatest "cop out" of all. There are many who studiously avoid Bible information on certain subjects, apparently thinking, "what I don't know won't hurt me." They ignore their obligation to "prove all things," and "grow in grace and knowledge." More than that, it seems they do know to avoid the study of topics about which they evidently have some doubt. Such self-deception is hypocritical, and produces the worst hurt of all. We must "know the truth" if the truth is to make us free (John 8:32).