Saturday, February 6, 2010

Study and Spiritual Pride

There are dangers associated with study. For preachers and seminary types it can become an end in itself. John Owen, a Puritan theologian, admitted with a sense of shame in later life that one of the reasons he studied so hard as a young man was an ambition he had to rise to power and distinction in the Church. David Brainerd, an early missionary to the North American Indians, found that study could feed his pride. He admitted that he was “stocking up knowledge to nourish self-sufficiency.”

Ministers must study. Disciples must study. But we must understand that the energies of Satan are always directed at making a good thing a bad thing, and he applies that to study just as anything else.

One of the biggest traps that Satan sets for those who aspire to be deep learners is to get them to focus on other people’s shortcomings while believing they themselves have arrived. There is a certain smugness that oozes from them and is easily detectable in their teachings.

Yes, we must study the scriptures, but not academically. Learning is not an end in itself. The goal is to become actual “doers” of the Word by living the Chrisitan life on a daily basis.

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