Just shy of 20 years old and three-quarters of my life have been dedicated to school and education. What a fantastic, God-given gift! Australia is a place where everyone can receive an education. This is such a blessing and despite how difficult learning can be sometimes, education is a privilege that I am so grateful for.
Yet despite my gratitude for being able to learn, I found it too easy to fall into the trap of sitting at my desk, putting my head down and pen up to study for the next exam, and forgetting about what I’m actually learning and why.
A new view on learning
The women’s minister at my church, Deborah, is an incredible woman who has done just about everything you can think of. In every conversation I have had with her I look forward to hearing a juicy story or a golden nugget of advice from one of her many past lives.
Everything and anything that we learn was made by God for us.
At the beginning of the year, two weeks into the new uni semester, I was already feeling the pressure of the weekly quizzes, readings and reports piling up. As I sat down to study and get some work done while waiting for my bus, I ran into Deborah. And all she said to me was, “God bless you while you study. God bless you because he loves it when we learn about him and his creation. Did you know, it was while studying that I had my most intimate moments with God?”
That shook me to my absolute core. Despite studying God’s creation every single day, it had never occurred to me that I was actually learning about the nature of God. Yet, when I sat down that day, and every day since, I have been filled with a new purpose: not just to learn, but to learn for God.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” (Colossians 3:23, NIV)
Academia and learning for God
God and our education work hand in hand. It doesn’t matter what we are studying, whether it is research, a trade, a niche academic degree, or an extra qualification; learning is pleasing to God and a powerful way that we can learn about him and his creation. Everything and anything that we learn was made by God for us.
“How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” (Proverbs 16:16)
Studying and the Bible
This is even more true for studying God’s word. Every time you open the Bible, you are learning about God and who he is. God wants us to learn and delights in it so that we may have great understanding and love for him and each other.
“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
So, bless you all while you work and learn and study – the Bible, as well as many other things! May you learn with renewed vigor, knowing that you are learning for God’s great purpose.
Sofia Walia is one of Bible Society Australia’s 2023 interns. Sofia is studying Psychology and Cognitive Brain Sciences at Macquarie University and attends church in Manly.