Educated Fool

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I’m really not out to make anyone mad with this post. Honestly, I’m not.

I’m not anti-education. I’m not anti-school, anti-learning, or anti-study.

I am anti-stupidity, anti-ignorance, and anti-anything that would hinder someone from a genuine walk of faith.

Faith in Jesus.

Some folks don’t get it. But it’s nothing new. It was that way in Jesus’ day.

“About the middle of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began teaching. The Jews therefore marveled, saying, ‘How is it that this man has learning, when he has never studied'” (John 7:14-15 ESV)

People couldn’t figure out how Jesus could have understood so much. After all, He hadn’t gone to their fine, elite and expensive school.

Thank God for schools! It’s great to develop good study disciplines, and the school structure helps people build those habits into their lives.

But there are many things we need to learn that can’t be taught in a school. 

Faith, hearing the voice of God, spiritual gifts and manifestations, prayer and intercession are just some of the things you’ll never master in a classroom setting.

Of course the principles regarding the aforementioned topics can be taught, but the real learning comes by putting the Word into practice.

The Apostles of old were recognized as ignorant, uneducated, common men. Yet they astonished the educated elite of their day because they not only knew more about things which truly mattered; they knew God!

And it left the others speechless.

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus. But seeing the man who was healed standing beside them, they had nothing to say in opposition.” (Acts 4:13-14 ESV)

It’s not a sin to be educated. But don’t trade your childlike faith for it.

Notice what the Apostle Paul wrote:

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:25-29 ESV)

Paul was one of the most educated men of his day. Yet he learned that all of man’s wisdom isn’t worth a plug nickel compared to the wisdom which comes from God.

Paul didn’t throw away all he had learned prior to coming to faith in Christ. But he knew that whatever he learned by the spirit of revelation must take precedence over everything else.

Long, long ago, hundreds of years before Christ, there lived a young Hebrew man named Daniel. He was part of the group King Nebuchadnezzar took to Babylon after he conquered Judah.
Old Nebuchadnezzar didn’t want to waste good talent, so he set aside the nice looking, educated, cream of the crop young men for extra schooling to “teach them the literature and language of the Chaldeans.” (Daniel 1:4 ESV)

Daniel’s keeper, the one responsible for his education and overall well being, had been instructed by the king to give the Hebrew young men the same foods to eat as their captors. Which, according to God’s word, was strictly forbidden.

It wasn’t as though Daniel was turning up his nose at the plate full of pork ribs, saying, “I don’t like that!”

Daniel’s faith was being challenged. 

He asked his keeper to allow a test, letting him and his Hebrew friends eat foods compatible with their faith. The keeper agreed to a ten day test.

“At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh than all the youths who ate the king’s food. So the steward took away their food and the wine they were to drink, and gave them vegetables.

“As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom.” (Daniel 1:15-20 ESV)

Ten times better. Because Daniel kept his faith perspective, and didn’t cave in to the world’s pressure. 

“Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.” (Psalm 119:97-100 ESV)

God’s not against you going to school and learning all you can.

But whatever is not of faith is sin. So, whatever you spend time and money learning, keep faith in God and His word as your mind’s gatekeeper. Let it help you use your newly attained knowledge.

Don’t be an educated fool.