For this reason, perhaps, I am also a great believer in education. My own schooling benefited me enormously; and I now encourage every young person I encounter to get all the education he or she can.
Nonetheless, I also recognize that there is a big difference in simply going to school and actually learning something. For that matter, just earning a degree is not the same thing as having gotten an education.
A wonderful story, circulated in the financial industry for years, serves to illustrate this point…
Few know that Bill Gates was once a student at Harvard. He dropped out to give all of his attention to his new love: computers. His mother was a Regent at the University of Washington and was upset that her son had dropped out of school. She asked a family friend, respected by Bill in his own right, to talk to her son and persuade him to go back to Harvard. The man agreed to have lunch with Bill.
During lunch, Bill laid out the case for personal computers and the urgency of the situation. Bill was so effective that not only did the friend fail to persuade him to go back to school, but he wrote out a check for $25,000 to help start the new Microsoft Company. Many years after that lunch meeting the business man said, “The only mistake I made that day was not giving him every penny in my check book.”
Education is important. One should certainly get all that can be gotten. But knowing what to do with that education is even more important. For in the end, what we do of necessity exceeds what we merely know.
Of course, what is true in the educational world is also true in the spiritual world. The Apostle James, in his eponymous New Testament Book (chapter 1, verse 22), tells us that we must: “Be doers of the word, and not hearers only. Otherwise, you are deceiving yourselves.”
Christians are admonished repeatedly throughout the Scriptures to study the Word of God. But James is making the point here that it is not enough merely to know the Word of God. We must also find ways to live this Word out in our lives.
I am quite sure Bill Gates learned some important lessons while at Harvard University. But I am equally certain that he would not be the person he is today, nor would he have had the far reaching and lasting impact he has had on this world, if he had not decided it was more important to act in the business world than just to study and know business principles.
And as believers, we do well to study the Word of God. But we do far better to take what we have learned and act upon it. For it is the latter more than the former that allows for the fullest impact of the Word of God, not only upon us, but also upon all those we encounter.
STORY SOURCE: Attributed to Jeff Moormeier, while working at Merrill Lynch, as told to and related by Kenneth Squires, while serving as Pastor at Marysville First Assembly, Marysville, Washington.
SCRIPTURE SOURCE: https://biblehub.com/james/1-22.htm.