Why do we Learn?
As a toddler, we are learning many things every single day, it is just natural. We really don't question why. At a young age some learning does not come naturally but may be forced upon us, such as in a school or parental discipline. If we go to college, we want to get an education in a certain field to be attractive to certain employers. What about after college? Some people like to read educational books to increase their knowledge or maybe their status or just to feel better about themselves. Most of our education is to help us overcome everyday life problems. But what about when we become a Christian? What is our purpose in learning spiritual things? At first, we want to soak in everything we can. We learn as much as we can about God and His ways and what He expects of us so we can incorporate it into our lives.
What about after we have been learning for 40 years? We forget much more than we retain. So, after 40 years that's a lot of forgetting! The older you get, the more you forget, so why bother, you are going to forget most of it anyway? Why do we still need to learn? Is the goal to memorize as much as we can and to learn as many facts as we can so we can impress others? That type of person is usually irritating and not humble. Is it the one with the most knowledge and has the most memorized in the end wins? Our spiritual learning and re-learning is essential to solve every day spiritual life situations, but there comes a time when you should be spiritual enough that most of your learning should not just be to help direct your path, but to help direct others. There is a job for those who are spiritual. Gal 6:1 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness.” Paul told Timothy in 1Tim. 4:15,16 “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed to yourself and the doctrine, for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.” Timothy’s profiting by leaning on God's word is not just to get himself better before God, but to appear before all, so that all may benefit.
Eph 4:28b,” but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.” We understand the importance of giving from this scripture. For many, it's easier to give financially to the needy than to give doctrinally to the spiritual needy. If one has more money than he needs and does not share with those in real need, do we not call them selfish? James 2:15,16,” If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?” If we study and learn and learn, and not share the fruits of our learning, are we being selfish? We should have it in our mind to learn for others. This might sound strange, for we know that a parent cannot learn for their child, take all the tests for their child, and expect their child to benefit (pass the grade).
Learning for others is a different concept, and changes what and how we learn. Knowing what the bible says, and where the passages are, helps us when in religious discussions. It helps us to have an answer for those who ask about the hope that is within us, 1 Pet 3:15. Our learning may be just the tool that turns the tide and convinces someone of the error of their way so that they can find eternal glory.
When was the last time you said I am going to do some learning for others?