The benefit of knowing you're in a 'learning environment.'
When we're in school, we just know we're not going to 'get it' all at once, or after the first time, there will be labs, worksheets, pop quizzes, exams. None of which are particularly fun, probably a little stressful.
I wonder how I'll do? Do I know the material well enough or are we back at it again until I get it?
And as an adult learner who has probably chosen to put themselves in that environment by registering for the class and paying the fee, you are making the choice to alter your schedule to accommodate classes or labs, you're choosing to do the homework even if it means staying up late or getting up ridiculously early, you're choosing to submit reports and take exams. You're choosing because the benefits of learning the material and incorporating it in our lives is worth the price. You know that going in on the front end.
How much better would the experience of our Christian life be if we understood we were in a learning environment?
We're being transformed into the image of Christ.
We ask Jesus into our hearts, to be our Lord and Savior, rescue us from our sins and bring us into a great life relationship with Him until we go to heaven to be with Him for eternity.
We are, in fact, asking for a learning curve.
Generally speaking, we don't know what scripture says much less how to put it into practice. We need the embrace of those around us to mentor us, helping to guide in understanding the amazing things we can learn AND put into practice now.
Fascinatingly, as adults, it's not uncommon to come at this new life of faith with an antagonistic attitude to those around us who would love to help us in our journey of discovery. It hits a pride nerve, as if we were lesser somehow for needing to learn new things.
Is the doctor the bad guy because he diagnoses an issue? Nope. Neither is your pastor or Sunday School teacher. :-) They're just seeing a place to grow to greater freedom.
How awful would the doctor be if he knew there was illness there but didn't care enough about you to say something that treatment might be started.
You're not lesser, or dumb, or a second-class Christian citizen, you're just newer to the journey. It doesn't matter how old you are in years. New is GREAT, whoohooo for new. There's no badness in that. It just means there's stuff to explore as God is very intent about His job of transforming us into His likeness.
There will be homework. :-) There will be labs. He LOVES on the job training, I've discovered.
We'll go into situations not knowing all we need to, which is precisely why He allows us the privilege of being in that circumstance--that we can first learn what we don't know, then set about embracing His enablement through the Holy Spirit, that we might gain that knowledge to put into practice to love His people better. Knowing this is what's happening can bring a ton of comfort.
So take the Sunday School classes that are offered, be in a weekly bible study, get involved in the lives of people around you and just know you're learning and it's ok. We're all learning. Your learning curve is a beautiful thing to God. You're going to do some things beautifully and be surprised how naturally some things come.
You're going to hose up a ton of stuff, say things you shouldn't, be in the wrong place at the wrong time and learn. Make use of the training. Be of good cheer! God loves you just the way you are. He also loves you too much to just leave you there. You will become more kind, more loving, more patient, more forgiving, because He is intent to work those character qualities in you if you just participate WITH Him instead of fighting AGAINST the learning. It is worth all the effort you put into it because your life is transformed and the lives of the people around you are impacted by the transformation.
So Father, today, please help us to see your kind hand of training in the situations in our lives, bless us with your power to step into the moment knowing you're with us and help us to learn all that you would have us learn, for your glory. May your kingdom grow, more people become free by our willing and humble hands and hearts.