God is infinite. People are finite. Conclusion: We will be learners forevermore – even when we get to heaven.
But it must be especially true that we are to be learners while on earth.
Why then do people seem to quit learning? Why do they seem to actively avoid learning instead of putting themselves in the path of it?
Here’s is an attempt to identify a few reasons that people quit intentionally learning.
They have arrived. In their own mind there is nothing else to learn.
They know enough. They realize that haven’t arrived but they have enough to survive or get by. Also, what is there to know since they have been to high school and college and they have gone to church all their lives. What else could they possibly be missing?
They are ignorant. Given a topic or discipline, they don’t know there is more to learn. They think all there is to math is addition and subtraction. Life is more complicated than first thought but no one informed them.
They are comfortable. In this sense they have arrived and there is nothing else to want except to not be inconvenienced by something going wrong. But of course it will and when it does they probably aren’t prepared.
They are easily satisfied. Another way to say what has already been said.
They are self-centered and they don’t know it. Ouch! They don’t know that when they quit learning they are not only blaspheming the infinite God who wants to be known but they are also hurting others with their passivity. Few people live on their own island. Learning is not just about us, it’s about how to interact and serve others. We may think a given topic doesn’t apply to our situation, but I am confident we know someone for whom it does apply. Am I able to encourage them or have I chosen not to because of missed opportunities?
They are too lax. Life is urgent and we need all the tools we can get. If a person was going to war would they go with the bare essentials or would they take as many supplies as possible to meet the challenge of whatever may come? Eternity is a long time to regret a wasted life and I’m afraid many people will look back and say, “Why didn’t I learn more so I could do more?” There are no mulligans so live with a sense of urgency that every moment matters.
They are ashamed and discouraged by present realities based on missed opportunities. I think this maybe one of the biggest in the life of the Christian. For example, if they were to go to a marriage, financial or parenting class/weekend they might think they will only be discouraged when they find out they aren’t where they ought to be and maybe even want to be. They might be discouraged to find out all the things they should have been doing. They might be overwhelmed and feel as though they can’t change. And the tragedy of any of these is they are further paralyzed and things get worse because they are ashamed to face reality so they avoid any kind of enrichment and correction all together which further perpetuates the problem. These people are very hard to help and they need it the most.
They despise correction. Who likes it? Apparently the wise man: ”Reprove a wise man and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser, Teach a righteous man and he will increase in learning.” Prov. 19:8b-9
They need help. I feel helpless sometimes trying to help the unteachable, but they need help the most and we can’t give up – at least if we are going to live for Jesus and love others instead of being unteachable ourselves.
They need the gospel. Jesus did not die for us sinners to leave us the way we are. Settling in sin is to make a mockery of the price of redemption. Jesus died so that we might live to righteousness (1 Pet. 2:24) and be controlled by the love of Christ (2 Cor. 5:14-15). We must always look to Christ and see what He has done for us so that we do not soak in shame or let others do the same. We must fix our eyes on Jesus (Heb. 12:2) and never give up in our pursuit of learning and knowing the LORD God through Christ.
Have you quit learning? Don’t give up. God will make it known by death when you can quit learning on planet earth. Do you know someone who has quit learning? Pray for them. Gently poke and prod them with invitations and heart-felt concern. But don’t let them give up and don’t give up on them.
Life is too short and too important to quit learning and living for Christ.
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“While we slog it out on earth as members of the Church Militant, the Church Triumphant is pulling for us from heaven.” If you’re like me, you have difficulty studying history. The numbers, the dates, the who died when and what they did or didn’t say. It’s confusing. Particularly in the church. We tend to see church history as the warty cousin we’d rather stick on the back row of family pictures. But what can be gained from learning about the good, the bad, and the ugly of church history? What is there for us to learn in understanding it is not up to our generation to redefine the church, re-strategize against “new” heresies, methodologies or doctrines. We may have more to learn that you might think.
Recently in one of our Core Groups, we had a discussion about how being angry with your brother is just as bad as murder. But how and when do you know when it’s the right time to be angry? Here’s Paul Tripp’s take.