Learning Requires Humility Devotional Reading and Podcast
Learning requires humility. We admit that our quality of life cannot improve without the pursuit of additional knowledge. Learning arises from the desire to acquire knowledge that positively impacts our life. –Sonya Johnson.
“To be honest, companies do not like to hire age 50 plus individuals because most are not teachable, they do not have the desire to learn. It may appear to be discriminatory, but how can a company be successful with employees that do not embrace change? “
This response was given by my 30-year-old coworker during a conversation that occurred over lunch in a restaurant. I mentioned that it took about six months to obtain permanent employment despite my credentials and experience. Of course, there are other contributing factors involved in a company’s selection and hiring process. Still, learning about the dilemma that mature workers faced changed my naive perspective of life after 50.
When we decide to improve the quality of our lives, we will face roadblocks. Stay prayerful and maintain a positive outlook. The time will come when you can pursue your goals.
Many have the desire to acquire formal knowledge but circumstances prevent the individual from pursuing their dream until the future. Although my friend possessed extensive management experience, she was no longer marketable because of her lack of academic credentials. Yes, she wanted to pursue a degree in Business Management, yet, life threw a curve ball that left her as a single parent struggling to raise two boys.
With creativity and motivation, we can explore alternative ways to acquire knowledge. Thankfully, there are numerous, free online [credible] options available to increase one’s knowledge base. The pursuit to learn extends beyond the acquisition of a certificate, diploma, or degree. In our ordinary lifestyles, we can acquire knowledge and make changes that will produce a higher quality of life.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
As Christians, we must be selective in our learning platforms and pray for guidance. Your goal is to improve your skills, knowledge base, and quality of life. Not every training or seminar that costs $500 or less will result in improving our lives. Becoming an entrepreneur sounds exciting and it is.
Self-employment, and owning your business require planning and sound advice from a business owner. Most start-ups thrive or fail in the first year and the profit from year one usually has to be re-invested in the business. God desires that we use our talents and spiritual gifts. Trust and wait on His perfect plans.
Red Flag: Social media contains a lot of bogus information and staged performances that appear natural. The goal is to engage followers. We cannot believe or practice everything we see or hear from others who thrive off of “likes” or have the intent to increase their bank accounts by any means necessary.
To clarify, I am not against social media. It was on IG where I heard two concepts, Sustainable Living and Zero-Waste that served as a catalyst to research and set into motion changes that not only help to save the environment but also decreased my expenditures by $100 a month.
With zero investment and much research, I improved my quality of life by learning to make, upcycle, or recycle certain items to save our precious environment and improve my budget. Yet, as a believer, I would be remiss if I did not address the priority of gaining Scriptural knowledge before we make changes that impact us financially. Did you know that the Bible contains principles for money management?
We can embrace positive concepts that empower us to have an optimal lifestyle but without keeping God first and praying for guidance, we set ourselves up for failure. The believer’s priority is to stay within the will of God. Pray and wait! We do not have to suffer consequences for making disobedient decisions that can never achieve our God-given purpose.
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36-37)
Thankfully, the Bible is the Voice of God and the Christian believer’s spiritual instruction manual to live righteously. There is nothing obsolete in God’s Word. Our Heavenly Father addresses the cause and resolution for all aspects of the believer’s issues in 2023. Jesus created us and is aware of the challenges we would face. The Bible contains spiritual solutions and practical guidelines to enjoy productive, happy, and healthy lives.
King David and the apostle Paul reiterated the Bible’s life-sustaining purpose:
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105).
“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
There is a huge difference between acquiring secular knowledge and spiritual knowledge. We can select subjects that boost our credentials, teach us skills, develop our creative talents, and improve our lifestyles based on our individual preferences. But Scriptural knowledge along with faithful obedience provides a spiritual transformation of our minds and characters.
Spiritual Learning Requires Humility: Studying the Bible requires total acceptance of God’s Word–all or nothing! We do not have the option to pick or choose, nor can we interpret the Scriptures according to our mindsets.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.'” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
One of the greatest mistakes we make is assuming that we can gain spiritual knowledge and discernment of the Word of God without the Divine intervention of the Holy Spirit. When King Solomon asked for wisdom, God honored his humble request by imparting godly wisdom that no other human being will ever obtain. Even with his godly wisdom, Solomon cautions us against succumbing to our innate pride, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil” (Proverbs 3:7).
Jesus to the Rescue: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14:26)
Before I heard sermons on praying for the anointing, presence, and power of the Holy Spirit to give us spiritual discernment before we study the Scriptures, I used to study the Bible without praying for Divine interpretation. The consequence is incorrectly understanding the Scriptures. For most of my life, I misunderstood Mathew chapter 25, verses 31 to 46, thinking the sheep were the believers and the goats were unbelievers.
This is one of the things that I love about Jesus, He meets us exactly where we are in our spiritual journey. When I committed to studying the Scriptures, God allowed me to hear a sermon from a pastor who explained that both the sheep and the goats are believers. God will not leave us confused! Receiving the truth is a choice and requires humility and obedience. Our part is to let go of all prior erroneous beliefs.
God’s grace and mercies extend above and beyond what we deserve. He does all He can to save our souls. Yet, it is our free will choice to accept His love and plans to reward us with eternal life.
“What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?” Psalm 8:4
Once we love God with our hearts, souls, and minds, we understand clearly the Bible was written for humanity. With gratitude, we humbly accept our need for Scriptural knowledge and the discernment, teaching, and guidance from the Holy Spirit. God took the time to use holy men to breathe His words of love in the 66 books of Genesis to Revelation. Dedicating our lives to Jesus Christ changes our perspective and appreciation of God, we know without a doubt that He is love.
The benefits of studying the Scriptures are endless. We receive hope and an everlasting spiritual connection to Christ that nurtures our faith and gives us courage in the stormy seasons of life. The Old Testament includes real-life stories of humanity’s sinful weaknesses, their defeats, prayers of forgiveness, and God’s miraculous interventions that brought victory.
My favorite books are the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which give four perspectives of Jesus’ life on this earth. Does Jesus care about us? “When Jesus, therefore, saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold your son! Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:26-27).
Human Effort plus Divine Intervention equals Victory!
From Jesus sacrificial offering to His present role as our Heavenly Intercessor, Jesus continues to intervene on our behalf. We can never be transformed, have the character of Christ, or stay on the Path of Righteousness without the spiritual nourishment that comes from the Bible.
Sanctification is a lifelong spiritual journey–being changed into the character of Christ requires the human effort of daily surrender along with the power of Divine Intervention.
Once you commit to studying the Bible, be on the alert for spiritual warfare. Guard your worship and study time. Eliminate distractions from the cell phone and inform your family and friends of your designated time with God. Commit to purchasing a hardcopy Bible in NKJV translation. Reading the words on the pages of the Bible provides a focused study and enhances your worship experience with God.
Learning Requires Humility: If you have social media accounts, pray before you respond to followers. Remember the Holy Scriptures are not for debate. Receiving questions in response to one’s posts can be genuine or a temptation that Satan uses so we can show off our knowledge. It is easy to become prideful by exalting yourself.
Make a rule to never analyze the Scriptures or give finite opinions. The Bible explains itself. Learning from experience, I only provide scriptural references and advise the individual to pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit. Remember, Satan has to back down from the Word of God.
Our priority is to learn God’s truth so we can witness and stand against false teachings. Using our time wisely to gain knowledge of God-breathed Scriptures is preparing us for that Great Day–the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Until then, our spiritual commission is to witness to everyone the gospel of Jesus Christ. In these perilous times, strive to tell others that Jesus is love. Witness, pray, study, and obey!
Prayer: God, we thank You for the Holy Scriptures. We pray for the anointing, presence, and power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Give us wisdom and discernment and correct us when we commit transgressions against You. Thank You for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.