|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Writing and Reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “Hold on to instruction; don’t let go. Guard it, for it is your life.” Proverbs 4:13 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Self-education is the best kind of education”
Almost immediately after I became a Christian in 1990, I knew the Lord was calling me into full-time ministry once I retired from my career in the Navy. I didn’t know what form that ministry would take but I was certain that the rest of my life would be spent in the ranks of ordained ministers and therefore, I had a burning desire to go to Bible college and seminary. But it just didn’t seem possible. I had a demanding career in the Navy that wasn’t over yet, and I had a family to raise and support. So, Bible college and seminary didn’t seem to be in the cards for me, and I was discouraged about it.
Fortunately, an early Christian mentor pointed me to a self-education program that was offered by our Southern Baptist Convention at that time. It consisted of self-paced study courses in every aspect of Bible study, church life, sermon-writing, preaching, and more. My mentor said, “Jim, if you complete all of these courses, you will end up with as good an education in Bible and ministry as you would get in any Bible College – maybe even better.” So, I launched into those courses and ended up completing many of them over the next several years. Eventually I ended up in seminary anyway, but those courses were solid gold and they were very helpful.
Bible college and seminary are of course well worth the time, effort, and money. But self-education is even better. I truly believe we learn more from self-education than we do from formal education. There’s no more valuable teacher than experience, and therefore life experiences are crucial to our education and growth. But personal Bible study and good Christian books are also essential, and the more time you spend with each of those, the more you will learn and the faster you will grow.
Tomorrow I’ll share with you the stories of some famous people who achieved great things as a result of self-education. But for today, I encourage you to spend some time reading your Bible and reading a good Christian book. As helpful as formal education can be, I still believe that in the long run self-education is the best kind of education.
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