Learn How to Learn
GROWING up requires learning how to learn. To grow up spiritually a Christian needs to learn how to learn. This is because Christianity is based on a learning process; the true Christian must continually take in life-giving knowledge. He must do this to be pleasing to “God, whose will is that all kinds of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.”—1 Tim. 2:3, 4, NW.
A Christian must learn that he is never too old to learn. He must learn that learning is a cumulative process: the more he learns the more he realizes the need to increase in accurate knowledge of the truth. Not only that, but learning must be productive; like a tree it must some day begin to bear fruit. So learning should make a Christian fruitful in spiritual good works. What is the purpose of learning? “That you may be filled with the accurate knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual discernment, in order to walk worthily of Jehovah to the end of fully pleasing him as you go on bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the accurate knowledge of God.”—Col. 1:9, 10, NW.
Some professed Christians seem to be ever learning, but they never attain an accurate knowledge of the truth; and they never become fruitful. They are unable to take God’s Word, the Bible, and open up its rich meaning to others. Such ones are like those persons the apostle wrote of who were “always learning and yet never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (2 Tim. 3:7, NW) So what is wrong?
No one can come to an accurate knowledge of the truth unless the teaching he receives actually leads to the truth. Jesus said there would be many false Christian teachers in these “last days.” So the Christian who has learned how to learn will “make sure of all things.” He will “keep testing whether” he has accurate knowledge and is “in the faith.” This requires a willingness to examine what he has already learned to make sure that it is the right kind of teaching, that it is in harmony with the standard for accurate knowledge, the Bible.—1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Cor. 13:5, NW.
Even with the right teaching some are ever learning and never growing up. What is wrong? The Bible says: “The fool multiplies words” but “wise men store up knowledge.” There may be too much talking. Some people just like to talk. They like to talk more than listen. If one spends more time multiplying words than storing up knowledge, such a person may be ever learning but “never able to come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” Talk has its place; it must not be allowed to crowd out listening and diligent personal study.—Eccl. 10:14; Prov. 10:14, AT.
The unproductive ever-learner usually has curiosity; he may just want knowledge for selfish purposes. Or it may be that he does not take time to digest what he learns. That requires thinking and applying learning to oneself. Sometimes it is a matter of curiosity coupled with a flabby will. One must learn to make decisions. The biggest decision a person must make in life is whether to serve Jehovah and his Son. Said Jesus: “He that is not on my side is against me.” It takes courage to decide for truth. But God gives “not a spirit of cowardice, but that of power and of love.”—Matt. 12:30; 2 Tim. 1:7, NW.
Life depends on growing up spiritually. There is no time to waste. Learn how to learn.