Vol.XVI No.V Pg.6
July 1979

I Am Learning

Robert F. Turner

I was sitting in the restaurant this morning, trying to think of an introduction to this article, when I overheard a religious discussion between two young men. With his Bible open, one of the young men zealously quoted scriptures in support of his arguments. His "opponent" finally got a word in edge-wise and questioned one of the points that was made. His question was ignored and our young debater pursued another line of argument. Again he was questioned, and again the question was ignored. The other young man finally asked why his questions were not being answered. The reply — "I have been studying for 11 years and have mastered the Bible."

Solomon said, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that is wise hearkeneth unto counsel" (Pro. 12:15). He also wrote that one of the purposes of the Proverbs was "that the wise man May hear and increase in learning; and that the man of understanding may attain unto sound counsels" (Prov. 1:5). Solomon reminds us that our ears can never grow too wise or too experienced for further advice and counsel. We should not become deluded into thinking that we have mastered all of God's truths.

An elderly teacher once instructed me to say, "I am learning" rather than "I have learned". Our limited knowledge should always be subject to further investigation. We must never become so close-minded as to think that we have all the facts and could not possibly be wrong on a particular subject. Solomon warns that "there is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12). Remember Paul's exhortation, "wherefore let him who thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (1 Cor. 10:12). A constant and careful study of God's word will serve to either strengthen or change our present concepts. Don't have the attitude of "I have learned."

However, this is not the only attitude which will hinder one from coming to a fuller knowledge of the truth. Another hindrance to truth is pride. In James 1:21 we are instructed to "receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls." The word meekness is often associated with humility (Vine). It is the proud man who will not listen to the advice of others. It is the proud man who will not hear the admonitions of concerned brethren. It is the proud man that has the attitude toward God's truths of "I won't learn."

Along with the "I have learned" attitude and pride, a third hindrance to truth is the view of many that "this is the way I am and there is nothing I can do about it." That is either an excuse for laziness, a cry of self-pity, or a delusion of Satan — it is not the truth! Read the inspired words of Paul in 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and note carefully his wording "and such were some of you." Do you have the attitude of "I can't learn?"

The young man in the restaurant had the attitude of "I have learned." Many are too proud and say, "I won't learn." Still others have adopted the false concept that "I can't learn." Why not develop the God-pleasing attitude of "I am learning?" Kevan O'Banion