Learning is something that comes naturally. You can’t stop a child from learning. Sadly, as we grow older we can resist the very thing that came so naturally to us earlier in life. Lifelong learning is worthwhile – something we should all seek.
Fear is often associated with learning. Suppose we want to learn to play the piano. We’ve never played the piano before, but we have some ideas of what learning to play will be like. We enjoy hearing the piano played. We are thrilled at being able to play like our favorite piano player. We’re scheduled to begin our lessons.
At our first lesson, fear takes over. The piano teacher is a middle-aged lady. The lesson is boring. We don’t like her. We don’t like the lesson. It’s not at all what we thought it would be.
Resistance takes over. That’s why so few kids who begin piano lessons stay with it. They want the end result, but they resist the process necessary to get there. Instant expertism isn’t part of the learning process. It takes time. It takes practice. But we had an idea of what it would be like. And this isn’t at all the way we thought it would be. So we resist. The resistance helps us deal with our fears.
Resistance is powerful. Millions resist the Truth of the Gospel every year. They have an idea of what serving God is supposed to be. If they read the Bible or hear the Gospel preached, they realize that’s not what they had in mind.
It’s even possible for the person who was converted to the Truth to reach a place where they develop an expectation of what God’s Truth is. Rather than growing closer to God by obeying the Gospel, they resist when they discover a Truth that is something other than what they expected.
Resisting the Truth hinges on us – on our mind being determined to do what we want, as opposed to being open to do what God wants us to do. God permits us to resist. He also permits us to obey. The choice is ours.
Don’t attempt to get out of change, where change is necessary. Don’t allow fear to stop you from learning the Truth (or more of the Truth). Growing closer to God requires learning, improving and changing. The Hebrew writer admonishes us to “draw near with a pure heart.”
Comparing ourselves with others hurts us in learning. We can always find others who know less, or are less able. We can also find others who know more, or are more capable. Resistance is the easy solution for this dilemma. Why should I learn the piano from a middle-aged woman? She’s not Billy Joel and I surely can’t learn much from her. But, it might be possible that my piano teacher is a professional piano player in a band. Maybe we think he’s an incredible player and we’re intimidated by him. You’ll never be as good as he is. Both notions can cause us to resist learning to play the piano.
2Cor. 10:12 For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
To learn the Truth of God’s Word we have to avoid comparing ourselves to others. It will get in our way of serving God.
Lastly, good intentions can derail our success and cause resistance. How often have we seen people who embraced the Gospel, only to fall away in short order?
The parable of the sower addresses this sad truth. Some hear the word, but they don’t have root. When any adversity strikes, they abandon the Truth of the Gospel. It takes more than good intentions to accomplish serving God. It takes more than good intentions to learn the piano, too.
We begin our piano lessons with the good intentions of learning to play. We imagine being able to play. Unfortunately, it’s not quite what we expected. And pretty soon, our disappointment in not being able to rattle off a Billy Joel tune with ease by the end of our first week causes us to give up.
We can’t begin our Christian life with the intentions of being full-grown. Christian maturity takes time. That doesn’t mean learning can’t happen daily. It must. We can’t let good intentions cool and cause us to resist the Gospel Truth. Rather, we have to embrace the process of Christian growth.
Mark 4:20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
We can grow. We can mature in Christ. We can change and improve our lives. The scriptures teach us to resist the devil. Let’s work hard to avoid resisting the Truth.