Published April 5, 2011

Paul's Epistle...
"Still Learning"

I think most of us who have a certain number of years behind us would agree with this truth that I've increasingly come to appreciate: Every day is a learning experience.

Each and every day there are new things to learn and new ways to apply what you've already learned. I find that to be true in the office — and in life. Learning never ends.

Here is a list someone sent to me of things that the writer (whoever that was) has learned. These are mostly not my words, but I can endorse them...

I've learned...

You could probably add a lot of other truths to that list, all learned from your own experience.

But the kind of learning experiences that are most important to us are those which teach us more about God's ways and about His desires regarding how we live our lives. Take some time to read through Psalm 119. In it the Psalmist pleads many times with God to "Teach me Your statutes." He pleads for "understanding" (v 73) and to be taught "good judgment and knowledge" (v 66). Of course, our way of learning these things is through reading His Word (the Bible) on a regular basis. That's the textbook He's given us for life.

Not all "life-learning" comes easily. The Psalmist, again in Psalm 119, even realizes that "it is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes" (v 71). He knows that, even though such learning experiences may be painful and difficult, they are necessary. I can testify – and you probably can, too – that the most difficult times in your life are most likely those very times that bring you closest to God — when you are the most reliant on His care, His comfort and His direction. Your "affliction" was allowed by God as a beneficial learning experience. No, it's not easy to think of severe difficulties in that way, but we must keep that frame of mind. Proverbs 1:7 reminds us that "fools despise wisdom and instruction." And "whom the Lord loves He chastens" (Heb. 12:6) to make us more perfect in His eyes and to build our faith in Him, refined as by fire (Isa 48:10, Zec 13:9).

Jesus told His followers, "Learn of me" (Matt. 11:29) – and that's surely the most important learning we could have — to do His will, in His way, in His time. Watch for learning opportunities today. God will provide them – but you have to have the openness to perceive and to take the time to notice.

"Teach me do to Your will, for You are my God..." (Psalm 143:10a).

- Paul

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