According to a recent study by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Germany of over 2,000 people in Germany and Spain, most people surveyed would prefer not to have their future revealed to them. Forty to 70% said they would feel better not knowing about positive developments that the future held for them. Over 90% said they definitely would not want to know about any negative occurrences waiting for them in the future.
The survey questioned them on a variety of situations that varied from the mundane to the momentous, including good and bad incidents. Psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer who was involved in organizing the study believes that people wish “to forgo the suffering that knowing the future may cause, avoid regret and also maintain the enjoyment of suspense that pleasurable events provide.”
Those who were most adamant about not knowing were likely to be risk averse and purchased life insurance. Gigerenzer noted that the desire to be deliberately ignorant about the future was surprisingly widespread considering that we live in an age where early detection tests are commonplace, such as to discover the gender and health of unborn babies or cancer screenings.
However, when it comes to those of us who are serious about our Christian faith, knowing parts of what the future holds goes with the territory and it’s something we embrace. The Bible from beginning to end testifies to the fact that God desires for his people to approach him about what the future holds and he enjoys sharing it. Most of the time he unfolds prophecies to dispel ignorance and to encourage people to align themselves with his will.
Given the fact that millions around the world consult horoscopes, psychics, tarot cards, and other occultic devices to uncover the future daily, it makes me wonder how accurate this survey really is. Their accuracy can also be called into question when one considers the billions of dollars various industries from consumer technology to defense to food to fashion spend on futurology so they can have an advantage of preparing for the next “big thing.” Nevertheless, I take great comfort in knowing I have a relationship with the God of the universe who considers our relationship of such importance that he reveals certain prophetic things to me so I don’t have to desire deliberate ignorance about the future nor run to the occult or futurists for answers.
Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. Isaiah 45:11