Better for you if you are not ignorant; but let your learning be orthodox. Be studious and well informed in laws and rules.
- Carthage, Rule (Irish, 7th century)
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
- 2 Timothy 2.15
We might suppose the instruction to Timothy about "studying" to be approved is reserved only for pastors. We expect our pastors to be good students, especially of the Word of God.
But pastors, like Timothy, are also expected to be examples to their flocks (1 Tim. 4.12). If pastors are expected to be capable in the Word of God, then the same must be true for those they teach.
In fact, the root meaning of "disciple" is "one who learns." All the followers of Christ should be diligent in the study of God's Word, and in related subjects as well. The more we learn, and the more we take the Word of God to heart, the better equipped we will be to live for Him and to make Him known.
Sad to say, most disciples of the Lord don't have very good study habits, whether in the Scriptures or anything else. We're too busy working, enjoying our lives, and taking care of our obligations to have much time or strength for reading and study.
The discipline of study is one of the most important spiritual disciplines to which we can commit. If we neglect this one, we won't give much time to any of the others, either, for it is in study that we learn to pray, appreciate the creation, and to search out the understandings of others through books, courses, and websites.
A life of disciplined study can be extremely rewarding, most of all by increasing our knowledge of the Lord and love for Him. Peter commands us to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, but this does not come without effort (2 Pet. 3.18).
How are your own study habits? Are you as faithful as you should be, or are you in danger of being "ashamed" before the Lord because you are inept at handling His truth?
This season, when we are reminded of all the grace and goodness of the Lord toward us, might be a good time to review your discipline of study. The more you invest in this effort, the greater will be the return in your relationship to the Lord and service to Him.
Study so you won't be ignorant; study so you will be approved; study so you can know more of the wondrous blessings and glory of the Lord.