As a teacher, I have known many students who disliked school but who loved learning. Perhaps you can relate. “School” tends to be about grades, exams, due dates, hallway passes, and standing in line. “Learning,” on the other hand, is about exploring God’s world, putting our growing knowledge into faith-filled practice, and giving Him the glory for all of it.
The Bible has quite a bit to say about learning, which in our day is a somewhat neglected or misunderstood spiritual discipline. This is ironic, given that we live in highly educated times. But there’s no better time to address this than the start of the new year, traditionally a time when we want to change for the better. After all, learning is something we’ll be doing for eternity.
Toward this end, our goals for this month’s study include distinguishing between godly and worldly learning or wisdom; examining biblical examples of learning (or the failure to learn); and understanding the purposes and motivations for learning. First, we will look at definitions and benefits of learning. Second, we will consider how people in the Bible learned, in order to deepen our understandings from the first section. And, finally, we will put it all together and hopefully increase our own motivation and commitment to learn.
By way of introduction, today’s pair of verses highlight a pair of essential truths: Genuine learning always leads to change (v. 3), and the willingness to change requires humility (v. 4; see Isa. 33:6). Why? Because in order to change we must admit that what we know and can do now is not enough. For example, wise people perceive danger and this new knowledge sensibly changes their actions, whereas simple or foolish people learn nothing. They just “keep going and pay the penalty” (v. 3).
>> What personal goals can you set for this month’s study on godly learning? We invite you to spend some time praying over this question and write down your response.
As we seek to understand what it means to be a godly learner, help us set aside our own agendas and remain open to what You desire to teach us. Move us to sincerely celebrate Your wisdom and truth!