Lifelong Learning

Most people wouldn’t argue with you if you said that education is important. The number of high school graduates has jumped to 82% in America1 with intent to continue the trend (which is why groups like 90%by2020 exist). College attendance directly after high school sits at about 66%2 and there has been an increase in older college attendees who delayed their college education for whatever reason3. Parents don’t just tell their kids, “oh, you’ve learned enough, you can stop learning now”. The problem is, many parents inadvertently convey this almost every day with the most important subject – faith.

Our faith is part of a lifelong learning process often beginning at baptism and continuing until we die. Confirmation is A PART of that process, but not the end of it, as we commit ourselves to a life of growing in Christ. This lifelong learning process is not going to church every other week, or even once a week. It may not even be attending a Bible study or two or doing your own devotion every morning. This growing, is learning. It is committing yourself to continually learning about Christ – His work, life, death, and resurrection and the implications that has for your life and the lives of those around you. Learning is not passive, it is active, as we tune our hearts and ears to what God is TEACHING us through these means. Yes, of course that requires us to go to church, Bible studies, and do our own devotions, but it also requires us to take them seriously, to engage and ask ourselves, “What has God taught me through this.” Otherwise we risk our faith becoming stagnant and perhaps even losing site of the promises God has given us.

Proverbs 22:17 says, “Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach.” (NIV)

Parents and adults are often the ones who hold their kids responsible and accountable for their education and even to attend Confirmation. The problem is, who is then holding the adults responsible for their spiritual education and growth? I would hope their kids would play some role in this - encouraging parents to be good spiritual role models - and spouses encourage one another to attend and be ACTIVE in Bible studies. Beyond that (and often even with those resources) most adults are left to maintain and monitor their own spiritual growth.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 says, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (NIV)

Provers 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (NIV)

Rest assured, you have been given the Holy Spirit in your baptisms and are saved by grace though faith. But that very grace creates a desire in our hearts to grow closer to our Heavenly Father. God calls us to hold each other accountable as we strive as a body of Christ to continue in our lifelong spiritual learning process. There is no doubt education is important, the question comes down to, who is holding you accountable to your spiritual education?

Written By: Lindsey Duerr, DCE

  • “U.S. High School Graduation Rate Hits New Record High.” U.S. Department of Education. N.p., 15, Dec. 2015. Web. 15, Dec. 2016.
  • Wong, Alia. “Where Are All the High-School Grads Going?” The Atlantic. Atlantic Media Company. 11, Jan. 2016. Web. 15, Dec. 2016.
  • Holland, Kelley. “Back to School: Older Students on the Rise in College Classrooms.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group. 28, Aug. 2014. Web. 15, Dec. 2016.