A Right Way and a Wrong Way to Learn

Text: Proverbs 1:5

Most people understand the importance of learning, though not everyone goes about learning in the same way. There is a right and wrong way to learn. In this lesson, we will consider what the Scriptures teach about learning – particularly learning that is of a religious nature and pertains to spiritual things.

Learning the Wrong Way

  • Learning for the sake of learning (Acts 17:17-21) – the Athenians were simply interested in learning “new” things; it is possible to continue learning but never come to know the truth (2 Timothy 3:7); truth belongs to God (Psalm 119:160), so if we’re not pursuing His way, we’ll never know the truth, no matter what/how much we learn; our learning must have a direction (toward God’s word)
  • Learning what is wrong – we must be careful what we listen to (Colossians 2:8; Romans 16:17); however, we can learn what is wrong if it is done for the right reason: to prepare for it (Acts 20:29-31), defend the truth (Philippians 1:16), and attack error (2 Corinthians 10:5)
  • Learning that leads to arrogance – knowledge can make one arrogant is not coupled with love (1 Corinthians 8:1); we should seek to build others up with the knowledge we acquire, not tear them down; many put too much trust in “formal education” and worldly wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:26-27); Jesus, Peter and John were “uneducated” (John 7:14-15; Acts 4:13), yet they knew and could teach the truth

Learning the Right Way

  • Right material – focus on the truth (Psalm 119:97), not something new and different (Jeremiah 6:16); be content to remain within the confines of God’s word (2 John 9)
  • Right teachers – we need teachers/preachers who will teach the truth (Hebrews 13:7); though God revealed His will in a way that we can understand it (Ephesians 3:4), He still expects the word to be spread through teaching (Romans 10:14; Acts 8:30-31)
  • Right attitude – we must be humble in our approach to the Scriptures (James 1:21); must recognize that even if we are righteous or wise, we have room to grow (Proverbs 1:5; 9:9)
  • Right motive – with a desire to do the will of God (John 7:17); not with a desire to establish our own righteousness (Romans 10:1-4) or to try and find a loophole that allegedly justifies what we want to do (Mark 7:9-13); we must be doers of the word (James 1:22)


  • We must never stop learning – but we must always be sure we are learning the right way
  • Our goal must be to learn God’s will so we can obey it and please Him

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