The desire of having some form of education is rooted in each of us. From the day we are born, we are taught how to speak, to walk, and to eat. This education prepares us for even more education as we move into the schooling years where we learn to write, add and multiply, and how to interact with others. While all of these are beneficial to our upbringing, nothing is more important to the Christian philosophy of education than knowing about the saving grace of God and how to impart that to others. This philosophy gives us enlightenment and equips us to every good work in Christ Jesus.
Christian Education Enlightens
Romans 10:13-15 stresses the importance of education in Christ. Verse 14 teaches us people cannot know about Christ unless they are told. It encourages us to spread the Gospel so people can hear, be saved, then pass on their experience.
- The Gospel Saves – The sole message of the Gospel is that belief in Jesus saves. Jesus’ final words commissioned each of us to educate the world. The words in verse 20 say “teaching them.” So, the result of our education is to educate.
- The Gospel Encourages – The greatest thing about witnessing for Christ is that we do NOT need to know it all. The disciples were not educated men. Jesus told them that they shouldn’t worry about their lack of understanding. He placed that responsibility on the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we should trust God that we will be prepared to be His witnesses.
- The Gospel Trains – Paul tells Timothy in his second letter that ALL scripture is given by God and useful for “teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” Paul encourages Timothy to use the training he has received and to share with others what he has learned. So are we to follow Tim’s example and teach from what we’ve learned.
Earthly Education vs. Godly Education
However, we could be the wisest ever and know the scriptures inside and out, but it would still mean nothing. Solomon, the smartest man ever, gave himself over to knowledge. He sought to understand wisdom and foolishness. But at the end of his journey, he discovered it was all worthless. A “chasing after the wind.” Meaning that finding satisfaction through education is unattainable with a Christian philosophy of education.
Earthly education is meaningless when mirrored against the education of the knowledge of Christ. With this knowledge, God equips us for what comes next, extending that realization to others.
Christian Philosophy of Education: Equips
When we stand before the throne of God, He is not going to ask us how many course hours we have taken or what our major is or was. What matters is what did we do with the gifts we were given for His glory. It is not based on earthly education, but the Christian philosophy of education based on our actions after we received our knowledge of the Word of God.
Knowledge teaches us about ourselves – Without the knowledge that the Gospel imparts, we would never realize we are in a sinful state and in need of a Savior. We would never see how perfect His sacrifice is, how imperfect we are, and how unworthy we are of it. With no revelation, we could never fully grasp the change that has occurred within us, and we would never discover our testimony.
But with a Christian philosophy of education, we can gain that revelation through the knowledge of Christ and His purpose for our lives; to save us, so we can go help save others.
Knowledge teaches us about others – As we embrace the Christian philosophy of education, and teach ourselves on our sinful-but-saved state, we can begin to see the world through the eyes of Christ. We no longer look at others with an “educated” mind. The mind that sees someone once and instantly condemns them based on their lifestyle, their habits, or their lack thereof. We see people in need of a Savior, and our heart goes out to them. A worldly education gives us a worldly perspective; a Christian philosophy of education gives us a God-like perspective.
The Christian Philosophy of Education Prepares
Students, don’t toss aside your books just yet. I am NOT discounting the importance of education. The point is, just as Solomon discovered, that in the grand scheme of things, there is far more importance in having knowledge in Christ. I fully understand that many callings steer believers onto the campus of a college or university. These years serve the purpose of a calling. This training prepares one for what God has in store. But the key lies in where our focus is.
Stephen Covey said in his book, 7 Habits of Highly Successful People®, “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.” In our quest to fulfill our calling, it is important to do just that. Christ IS the main thing, and as Paul explains in Philippians 4, “I press on toward the goal of the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Paul had a Christian philosophy of education. He lived it. He kept Christ as the main thing, leaving us an exemplary example.
Jeff S Bray wrote this article.