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JFH Devotionals by J.M. Farro

The Dangers of Higher Education

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief. - Ecclesiastes 1:18 NIV

These words were written by King Solomon, a man who was famous for his wisdom. After many years of striving to increase his wisdom and knowledge, he comes to the conclusion that the more he studies, the more miserable he becomes. To a society like ours, which is convinced that education is the answer for almost everything, these words may seem almost sacrilegious. In our pursuit of status and wealth, we have made education an idol. We have worshiped it, and we have used it to try to fill the void in ourselves which can only be filled with God. And where has all this education gotten us? It's left us empty and unfulfilled, living lives without purpose or meaning. It's also left many of us deeply in debt. And we have begun to covet each other's levels of learning. We've become a society that feels it needs to "keep up with the Joneses" as far as degrees are concerned.

The Bible gives some clear warnings about placing too much value on education. Besides the verses above written by Solomon, Paul writes that "Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up." (1 Corinthians 8:1) Too much education has a tendency to make us arrogant and prideful, and it can hinder our relationships with others and with God. In 1 Corinthians 3:18-19 NLT, Paul says: "Stop fooling yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you will have to become a fool so you can become wise by God's standards. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God." Paul was a highly educated man, yet he warns us here that striving to gain worldly wisdom can hinder us from accepting the wisdom from above which can save us. That's one of the reasons why Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." (Luke 18:17) Children have a tendency to be humble and dependent, while highly educated people often demonstrate more arrogant and self-reliant attitudes. So what are Christians to do about their education? It's simple. Seek God. Then you'll get only the amount of education you really need, and He will provide the finances and the grace you need to excel in your schoolwork. He'll even open doors of opportunity when the time comes. Today, rest on this promise from God, penned by David in Psalms: ". . . In all my years I have never seen the Lord forsake a man who loves him; nor have I seen the children of the godly go hungry. Instead, the godly are able to be generous . . . and their children are a blessing"! (Psalm 37:25-26 TLB)

Prayer: Lord, I ask today that You show me what education or training I need so that I may prepare to fulfill my God-given purpose. Give me Your plan for my life and don't let me get sidetracked with my own plans or those of others. Thank You for providing all that I need to be all that You want me to be!

- J. M. Farro


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