“Yes,” his mother told him, “there is a lot to learn.”
“But I already learned,” he said, sure that now he would get to stay home with her and his little brother. Of course, he found out otherwise quickly.
I know that no one would say it out loud, but sometimes I get the feeling some of my brothers and sisters have the same attitude. “I already learned!” which is supposed to justify their never studying for a Bible class, never attending an extra Bible study, never darkening the meetinghouse doors for anything but the Lord’s Supper, as if it were a magic potion that would save them that week regardless of anything else they did. What they have “learned” are usually the pet scriptures, the catchphrases, the simplistic theories that try to explain away the profound depth of the Scriptures—all those things that smack so much of a denominational mindset.
I have amazing women in my Bible classes, and let me tell you, most of them are neither young nor new Christians. These are women of a certain age, as we often say, who have sat on pews for longer than many others have been alive, yet they see the value in learning still more.
And that does not necessarily mean learning something new. Sometimes the learning has more to do with a deeper comprehension, uncovering another level of wisdom, or an additional way of applying a fact to one’s life, leading to a changed behavior or attitude. When I see someone in their later years actually change their lives because of a discovery made in Bible class, I am reminded yet again of the power of the Word. The most amazing thing about this living and active Word, is that if you are not blinded by self-satisfaction, every time you study it you can see something new. It’s like peeling an onion—you keep finding another layer underneath.
You may have “already learned” a great many things, but if that is your attitude, you will never grow beyond the boundaries you have placed upon yourself with that notion. Like a kindergartner who has learned his letters and numbers, you will be stuck in the basics, the “first principles,” and never come to a fuller comprehension of the magnitude of God’s wisdom and His plan for you. If you are still deciding how long to keep a preacher based upon how much you “enjoy” his preaching and how many times he visited you in the hospital, if you are mouthing things like “I never heard of such a thing” or “I am (or am not) comfortable with that,” with not a scripture reference in sight, you still have a long way to go.
God wants meat-eaters at His banquet. That means you need to chew a little harder and longer. Yes, it takes time away from recess to sit in class and learn some more. Yes, you have to process some new information which may not be as comfortable as you are used to. Your brain may even ache a little, but that is how you learn, by stretching those mental muscles instead of vegetating on the pew.
You may think you have “already learned,” but I bet you even my kindergartner grandson figured out very shortly that there was a whole lot more he needed to know. He’s a pretty smart kid. How about you?
Whom will he teach knowledge? and whom will he make to understand the message? them that are weaned from the milk…Isa 28:9.
Wherefore leaving the doctrine of the first principles of Christ, let us press on unto perfection…Heb 6:1.