The True Value of Education

EDUCATE: To develop and cultivate mentally or morally; to make fit for a calling by systematic instruction.

Society tends to regard education as an indication of intelligence and achievement according to their worldly standards. In fact, by way of secular thought, it is often held that the more education one has, the smarter he or she must be; the more titles and higher degrees, the more highly the scholar should be regarded. Yet, the Bible does not seem to view people according to these standards. Most of the disciples were not highly educated…they were described as “unlearned”; yet the educated Jewish High Court marveled at the teachings of Peter and John (John 7:15), and then they realized that “they [Peter and John] had been with Jesus.” Indeed, the disciples had been thoroughly cultivated In the knowledge of the Kingdom and the ways of God by Christ Himself…and the educated Jews were astonished.

All of this is not to say that seeking education is not a worthwhile pursuit. Hosea 4:6 states that, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” In this particular verse, the accurate translation of knowledge is “in the highest sense, knowledge of God, including obedience.” Therefore, to measure mental, moral, or particularly spiritual maturity primarily on the basis of the amount of formal education one has achieved is short-sighted and presumptive. It is always wise to remember that the value of education is not measured by the number of degrees or grades, but whether a student has been effectively equipped for God’s purposes. This education—formal or informal—may not unfold according to the expectations of the world. Nevertheless, by whatever means instruction is achieved, the most valued outcome is that believers are equipped and readied to carry out God’s plan for them with an informed mind and humbled heart.