Life Hack #12:
It amazes me how many individuals actually think they are learning something when they just attend church on Sunday, issuing proclamations of agreement and head nods in assent to the teaching, or even watch Christian TV all through the week, and still don't manifest a life change. Exposure to a subject and even agreement with it is not learning - but God holds us accountable for the knowledge we possess, even when we don't use it. Exposure to a subject gives us knowledge of the subject - application of the knowledge gives us the chance to be affected by it.
Give yourselves to disciplined instruction; open your ears to tested knowledge. (Proverbs 23:12)
We need to "give ourselves" to disciplined instruction. We actually have to put something into our learning, but we all have experienced the difficulty associated with actually learning. The first thing we must remember is that the attitude we exhibit when truth is made available to us and how well we actually apprehend the truth is critical to us actually 'learning' anything. If we are not open to truth, no matter how often we are exposed to it, we will reject it as "not applicable" to our lives.
How open are our senses to what is being taught? All learning comes through one sense or another. This is why we "get" some truths when we finally see it illustrated. The combination of hearing and seeing puts it together for us and we finally "get it". The appropriateness of the truth in relation to the point in life we find ourselves at the time the truth is revealed might just make the difference between hearing and actually learning. When a truth is revealed and our life circumstances seem to "need" the truth, we are often more willing to embrace the truth at that time.
We need to remember it is to be "disciplined" instruction. Disciplined learning only occurs when one is willing to put in the effort to apply what is learned. Disciplined learning is the process of being "rigorous" in applying what we are learning. As truth is revealed, there is a precision required in taking what is heard and incorporating it into one's daily practice. Practice makes perfect is the old adage, but I would say practice leads us closer to what changes our lives. God gives us the truth, challenges us by giving us the leading of the Holy Spirit to assist in remembering the truth, and then he asks us to do the "hard work" of using the truth in a very practiced and consistent manner.
Learning to think differently about myself has been a difficult challenge - but it is through applying the truth that I am a child of God, pure in his sight, and dearly beloved by him that I have made progress in seeing myself as valued and of great worth. If you are a "casual learner" like those who give the head nods and positive assent to "lessons" taught by God's teachers, maybe you owe it to yourself to get into the Word a little yourself and see what God can bring out of it as truth which will set your life on fire. Just sayin!