Children love learning! Most children anyway. They enjoy when you point to your face and they finally have mastered that the weird shape in the middle is called a nose. Most children look forward to the first day of school with an anxious anticipation. That doesn’t last. Maybe it goes away when they realize they have to go EVERY DAY for the next TWELVE YEARS. Maybe they have negative a social interaction that zaps their joy for education. Maybe they realize it isn’t cool to enjoy school.
I don’t really know what it is that steals our desire for learning, but the older we get the more work it is for our brains to acquire new knowledge. I remember when I finished school, there was a part of me that was like, “I’m done! I never have to learn again.” How foolish I was.
Proverbs 18:15 (NLT) Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge.
Smart people love learning. That seems obvious, they’re smart so of course, they like learning. It’s easy for them. That isn’t necessarily true though. I believe everyone can enjoy learning, but it requires discipline. Being ready to learn isn’t about your level of enjoyment, but your level of commitment. Determine in your heart, “I’m gonna never stop learning” and seek out knowledge. This is the only requirement for gaining intelligence.
Proverbs 12:1 (ESV) Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Discipline is the key component to gaining knowledge. We must subject ourselves to tasks we might not foremost enjoy, but in doing so we gain knowledge and over time we eventually gain an appetite for it. Along with a willingness to learn means a willingness to be taught, or to receive correction. In fact, the verse above in the NLT says “it is stupid to hate correction.” I get a small pleasure from that because I wasn’t allowed to say stupid as a kid. Sorry, mom, it’s in the Bible.
Let’s be real though, we don’t always like correction, but sometimes we are wrong. We must never be so rigid and set in our ways that reject criticism and correction, especially from those with more wisdom than us. Next time you’re being corrected and that voice of objection rises up inside you, just remember the Bible says it is stupid to hate correction. I don’t wanna be called stupid by anyone, especially the Word of God.
Proverbs 1:7 (ESV) The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Growing up I always heard two quotes, both of which suggest we should never stop learning. “Leaders are learners” and “Leaders are readers”. I was never the BIGGEST fan of reading though. I felt it required too much time.
My thoughts on that have changed. So has my approach to reading. I don’t try to take on a whole book at once. I don’t even try to take on a whole chapter at once. My only goal is five pages a day. Sometimes a page more, if I’m really enjoying it. You could read five pages a day right? When I reach five pages I stop. Even if I’m mid sentence. OK, my OCD wouldn’t let me do that, I usually try to finish the thought. I usually spend no more than 15 minutes a day in a single book and I’m usually reading two different books, totaling 10 pages and half an hour each morning or evening.
That is simple. And in doing that I have read about 15 books in the past nine months. I don’t say this to brag, but to show you that it is possible to change and we must change. We must hunger after the Word of God. We must long to become more like Christ, but if we do not truly LEARN who He is then we will never meet that goal.
Maybe you see yourself as an intelligent person, maybe you don’t. Either way, I want you to know that the most important thing is always being ready to learn. We have the Holy Spirit who is ready and willing to teach us, but we must put ourselves in a mindset where we are willing to listen. I believe God is speaking to us each day, but often we aren’t really listening. When you go to pray and read your Bible today, go with pen and paper in hand ready to listen to whatever the Lord may speak.
Always be ready to learn and over time you will learn to love learning.