One of my observations is that in the early years of life, our bodies grow rapidly and then we slow down a bit until we peak around the age of 20. A decline begins after that. Our minds too develop rapidly when we are young. When we reach our twenties, we are still learning, but it becomes harder to grab a hold of new concepts. Even though we reach our mental learning peak a little bit later than our physical growth peak the same saying applies. There is a slow, steady deterioration. Our minds become rigid and lack flexibility. It becomes increasingly difficult for us to learn. We become set in our ways.
We can learn a lot about the way to continue to challenge ourselves by taking a look at Jesus' approach to learning. In Matthew 11:29, Jesus invites us to join Him in the adventure of learning. "Take my Yoke upon you and learn of me", He says. The fundamental meaning of the Greek word disciple, used in the Bible is a learner. Being a disciple means you are in a lifelong learning process. The King James version says "learn of me". There are some versions that say, "Learn with me". The idea is to get in harness with me (Jesus); join up with me; come along side with me and learn from me, about me. Learning is a lifelong task and all one has to do is to look at the life of Jesus, and it is plain to see. In Luke 2:26, we see Him, at the age of twelve, sitting among the teachers in the temple, listening to them, and asking them questions. (Sometimes questions are essential to learning.) Later, in Matthew 24, at the peak of His ministry, we see Him telling a group of His disciples: "Learn this lesson of the fig tree." And then, we see Him in the final painful hours of His life on earth, when He learned obedience from the things He suffered (Hebrews 5:8). Jesus was a lifelong learner.
So what's my point? It seems like the older we get, the less we push ourselves to learn. If you are over thirty, how long has it been since you have acquired a new skill or adopted a new attitude? Whether it is religious, social, or otherwise. Have you become so set in your ways that are not willing to change and grow in different areas of your life, or are you learning something new everyday?
Jesus said that "I have come that you may life and that you may have it more abundantly, or some versions say have it to the full. If you are not learning, you are not living the way God wants you to live...to the full.
Pastor Earl Goings shares his thoughts on everyday concerns.
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