“the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge—developing the powers of reasoning and judgment and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life.”
From the modern point of view an education is a means for a better life. When one is “formally” educated they have the opportunity to have a better job which brings in more income, which in turn leads to a more comfortable lifestyle which in the end results in a more prosperous life.
However, from a Christian point of view an education is seen in a very different light. As Christians we were created solely for the purpose of glorifying the Lord and enjoying Him forever. Our duty is to serve the Lord and to honor Him and to bring Him glory through all that we do. We are to let the light of Christ shine through us for the entire world to see.
He is the potter and we are the clay. The Lord is molding us, shaping us, and forming us exactly the way He wants us to be. We are the work of His hands—a masterpiece in the making. Just like there are many different kinds of pots, each to serve a different function. In the same way we He has created us all differently because He has a different function for each person to fulfill. As we discover our gifts and how we might use them and in seeking an education whether it be a “formal education”—a structured, prearranged, “by the book” system, OR an “informal education”—because life itself is a huge vehicle for learning and becoming educated. Wherever we are called to go or whatever we are called to do, the sole purpose of it all is in learning how to serve the Lord to the best of our abilities.
In the Webster’s Dictionary an education is defined as:
“the bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts, and science is important, to give them a religious education is indispensable.”
This definition focuses fully on developing the child as an individual. It takes into account that God created us in His image each with a purpose and a specific plan for each of our lives. And to give a child a religious education is absolutely necessary. Each one of us needs spiritual understanding and insight into that special knowledge revealed only by God Himself. Without that substantial spiritual foundation, our basic natural understanding will always fall short. As the scriptures say:
“I am the vine, you are the branches, He who abides in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
We can do no good apart from our Lord. Therefore, being educated in such a way that the Word of God is at the base of all subjects I believe is how God truly intended us to be educated. As stated before—our purpose on this earth is to glorify God. The Lord has every step of our lives planned out—He has arranged every single detail for a specific purpose for us individually. Our God is creating a story and each one of us has a special part in His-story. Knowing this helps us persevere and gives us that motivation we all need to keep pushing towards our goals.
NOW imagine not having this knowledge.
Without the spiritual motivation sometimes our only motivation is selfish ambition. Ones education now becomes a means to accomplish selfish goals. We are often driven by the desire for wealth, status, or pleasure. Also our nature wants to be recognized and seen as important. Ways of accomplishing this is by pursuing an education to gain more knowledge than others to maintain a feeling of superiority.
Education is a good thing—but when our reasoning, and our motivation, and our goals become self-centered it is no longer a good thing in God’s eyes. Any good thing can be turned into a bad thing with the wrong motivation. The purest motivation is that of serving God. When your motivation is to serve God—your education now becomes a vehicle by which you can serve Him better!