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September 10, 2007

Late night discussion: Why learn?

Learning for the sake of learning. What does that mean? Is it learning only to better ourselves? What does it mean to better ourselves? Is that seeking for knowledge and questing for righteousness? Or would that be the definition of wisdom? What is the definition of wisdom? What is the true meaning of learning?
Some of you may or may not know that the students here at Summit Semester receive no college credit for the work that we do. With that said, for what are we really here? Some might say that we are here to learn simply for the sake of learning. However, this is not what some of the students here think after analyzing this.
A few of the young men have been meeting in Judson's room (one of the guy staffers) each night to talk about issues of the world, study class materials, and discuss things that we have learned that day. Saturday night our group had a long and intensive debate on why we are here. In reality, this discussion began when Judson asked our group if "learning for the sake of learning" would be idolatrous. If "learning for the sake of learning" means trying to better ourselves, then would it be idolatrous in only focusing on ourselves? To begin, we will think of "learning for the sake of learning" as "bettering oneself." However, one must then come up with the definition of "bettering oneself."
Then, of course, you still have the issue of whether or not "learning for the sake of learning" is idolatrous. Idolatry is making something in this world more important than God. Are we using this knowledge for ourselves, or is there something more to a students' education? If "learning for the sake of learning" is idolatrous, which our group decided it was, then what do we seek instead?
Instead of "learning for the sake of learning," which puts focus on ourselves, we need a different focus. We must put our focus in something sounder and more stable. In our discussion, we decided that the only way that "learning for the sake of learning" could be beneficial at all is if we do not carry this knowledge for ourselves. The sole purpose of learning anything should be to grow closer to God, to search for His wisdom, and to further His Kingdom.
We, as humans, will never reach the perfect goal of doing everything we do to honor God. However, we must strive, not to learn only for the sake of obtaining knowledge, but to learn everything with the purpose of using that knowledge to bring glory to God.
Our group agreed that no matter what we do, what classes we take, or what wisdom we gain, we must always use our knowledge to better our relationship with Christ; we must seek, not for wisdom in general, but for our Savior's wisdom, and use the things we have learned to further His Kingdom.

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