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1 Corinthians 10:11–13

‘These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!’ (vv11–12)

Today we’re familiar with the term ‘lifelong learning’. Formal education may end, but our need to learn continues. Great news for some, for others not so much. Learning serves both personal and professional development. As we live and learn, we grow into and express our full potential. This has two distinct sides to it: choosing to develop into a mature Christian, or electing to increase the distance we place between ourselves and God. 

Here Scripture warns us that to walk away from God will lead to disappointment, both for us and for God who is calling us. Society seeks to quantify decisions and actions into ‘good’ or ‘bad’ as a basis for all morality. Whilst useful as a primer, it can never communicate the impact bad decisions have on us, as well as others. These latter can come to light as the unintended consequences of our decisions and cause further pain. 

The objective for all learning is not to complete some checkbox exercise demonstrating right from wrong. It is to live with the confidence that our learning will continue through death as we continue to emerge into the fullness for which we were originally created. Learning is always intended for our good and offers the source of our emergence into God’s life and purpose. It’s easy to believe we have a grasp of our Christian identity and purpose, but this all too easily leads us to take our eyes off Jesus and live by some code of our own manufacture.

SCRIPTURE TO CONSIDER: Ps. 32:3–10; Deut. 8:1–14; Matt. 11:20–30; 1 John 2:20–29.

AN ACTION TO TAKE: How committed are you to lifelong learning? 
A PRAYER TO MAKE: ‘Lord, help me to learn from my mistakes and to choose to stay close to You every day. Amen.’

Micha Jazz is Director of Resources at Waverley Abbey, UK.