I have just returned from several days at an institution of higher education specializing in religious studies. The purpose was to explore a program of study that would help me in my work in Alaska. To be honest, as the details of the program were explained I struggled. Usually, I have eagerly engaged in study with the degree or certificate as the goal. This time I struggled with the question of how this program of study would change me after spending several years to complete it. I could see that the program was carefully designed to transfer a critical body of knowledge. It would be taught by great teachers. My concern, however, was how would it change my heart. In Romans chapter 12 Paul writes:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
The Scriptures speak well of knowledge, but is also warns that, Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. But the man who loves God is known by God. I Cor. 8:1.
I am a life-long student. I am drawn to books and learning. God has shown me that truths mined from Scripture come with the responsibility to be used in loving God and our neighbor. So, even our study of Scripture is subject to obedience. May you know God through His Word, and especially by knowing and loving your neighbor.