By nature, I’m the sort of person who likes to understand as much as possible. If there is a puzzle, I want to put it together. If there is a mystery, I want to solve it. If there is puzzlement or a fog of confusion, I want to shine a light on it and make it clear and understood, at least to myself, and hopefully to other people as I ponder and muse over the subject and attempt to articulate it to the best of my abilities. Normally this tendency is a good thing, and does not tend to cause too many difficulties. However, the quest for understanding must be kept within its proper boundaries, because there are some aspects of understanding that are too painful to seek blindly and incautiously.
To put this into some sort of context, I am the sort of person who likes to take the experiences of my life and of those around me as the raw materials to ponder on deeper concerns and patterns of thought and behavior. It is often the case that application proceeds at a vastly slower rate than the acquisition of knowledge, and that the acquisition of solid knowledge is far more limited than the range of fancy and supposition. What this means is that it is far easier to lay out possibilities and implications than it is to tie down those possibilities and turn them into solid knowledge, and it is far harder to turn that knowledge into actual godly behavior.
Still, this process of following the breadcrumbs and gaining gradually more solid insight and understanding and (eventually) application still is somewhat limited in the sort of subjects one understands. Surely not all of us can deeply understand even everything that is proper and good. The universe is simply too massive and too complicated for us to grasp its fullness and wonder completely over the course of a few decades of life, a great deal of which time is wasted in unlearning error and in wrestling with the baser aspects of our human nature. We are greatly limited by time, reseources, and talents even in those areas where we have an interest in understanding.
There are, however, some areas of this world that simply are not to be understood. For example, I simply do not want to understand how some people can view other flesh and blood as being so beneath dignity and honor that they are viewed as cockroaches fit only for extermination. I do not wish to understand how people can abuse and deliberately harm and seek to destroy their own flesh and blood. I can understand unintentional harm as a result of having bad patterns of communication and behavior–that I can relate to all too well, but understanding such deliberate hatred and destructiveness is beyond my comprehension, and I don’t consider that a bad thing. After all, to understand how the extremely depraved and inhumane mind works is far along the path in behaving in such a way. Indeed, it is quite possible that such matters could not be understood until they were experienced, and that experience is too painful and too scarring for our conscience to remain unsinged.
As human beings, our understanding of good and evil is greatly colored by our experiences. Surviving abusive behavior of others that transgresses our own boundaries tends to make the issue of setting and defending boundaires a very fierce issue that makes life more difficult. And even though such knowledge and understanding can be worked out to the good, in that it makes it possible to have a great deal of compassion and empathy for others who have suffered the same sort of experiences, it still causes a lot of damage in a baffling variety of ways that makes life greatly more complicated and difficult. Perhaps it is the fact that we cannot understand the pain and damage that results from crossing boundaries without having been burned that makes our lives so full of painful error and folly. It is good that God is merciful, as we are all bound to folly in many ways, and recognize the value of innocence when it is long gone.