Please Learn And Teach Others
“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” Plato
OUCH!!! That hurt. I do not claim to be wise, hence this quote BY a wise man, has caused me to reflect. Do I send out my short ‘lessons’ because I think I have to say something? In a way, I feel I must, so I guess I am the fool. Why I THINK I should, is that I have learned SOME things since becoming a Christian, and am constantly trying to learn more. I simply want to share some of that knowledge I gain with others, per chance it just might be something someone needs to hear on any given day to have a better one for God.
With that in mind, I want to use some of Plato’s other sayings to pass on some of the small things that I have learned. Let’s start with point #1:
“The beginning is the most important part of the work.”
To start a quiet time is most certainly the most important part of that event, as without the beginning, nothing else happens. And quiet times can be work. It is not necessarily easy for some to get up early in the morning (or for that matter, any time of the day) and start studying God’s Word. Biblically, David did it throughout the day (Psalm 119, verse 97). And Jesus started off his days early with prayer. (Mk 1:35). The psalmist who wrote 5:3 began his day with a quiet time prayer like this: “… O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” I guess what I am saying is that it is important to begin something with a goal in mind. Even if you have a terrible time with God in your prayer or bible study or meditation, at least you started one. If you hadn’t started, you wouldn’t even had had the chance to do a good, or a bad one…and really, ANY time you spend with God is probably not all that bad, anywho…..J
As point #2, Plato also stated this: “Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.” Ignorance is not stupidity. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge. Stupidity is acting in a careless manner, sometimes due to ignorance, but mostly due to some sort of sin. We all heard that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (Ti 6:10). But, stupidity is knowing that the love is money is bad, and yet still loving it. Understand? Ignorance, on the other hand, is simply not knowing. But, as Plato says, this lack of knowledge can cause plenty of evil. How do you combat that? Learn. How do you learn? Study. How do you study? Begin. (see point #1)
Point #3 comes from this Plato quote: “Bodily exercise, when compulsory, does no harm to the body; but knowledge which is acquired under compulsion obtains no hold on the mind.” And to put this in context with this lesson, don’t get up and do a quiet time because some man (or woman) tells you to. If you don’t WANT to do it, don’t. Otherwise, like Plato says, you won’t retain anything you are ‘required to learn’ anyway. BUT, if you WANT to improve your spiritual life, enhancing the opportunity to ward off Satan, you might consider it. And I would think that you would want to start one anyway, simply for demonstrating your appreciation for the love that God has shown to you. In order to learn and retain what you read and study about, prayer helps. Pray for a desiring heart; one that wants to learn. If God grants that, point #3 becomes very clear.
A lot can be learned from people who did not write any part of the Bible. But if you look closely at most of their teachings, I will bet you will find corresponding Scriptures somewhere which say the same thing. Listen to this wise old man (no, not me, I am just old, but Plato) and from him, learn the importance of getting up early, starting a quiet time, learn from your lesson and do it because of God.
To close, one more quote from Plato, and I will leave it at that: “Man is a tame or civilized animal; never the less, he requires proper instruction and a fortunate nature, and then of all animals he becomes the most divine and most civilized; but if he be insufficiently or ill- educated he is the most savage of earthly creatures.”