The Most Educated Person

Albert Einstein said*, “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” It has been also said, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Theodore Roosevelt said, “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.”

Here is a fun definition of high-school students:

Freshman – Does not know everything, but he does not know that he does not know everything.
Sophomore – Does not know everything, but he thinks he knows everything.
Junior – Knows everything, but he does not know he knows everything.
Senior – Knows everything, and he knows he knows everything!

Knowledge & Wisdom – You can learn a lot by studying students. Children use their knowledge selfishly. They learn so they can get. They learn ways around the rules for their own benefit. Young adults use their knowledge to feel superior. As they finish school, they think they know everything. They even think they know more than their parents. (My parents learned a lot during my first semester in college!) Later, as young people get a job, get married, and take on responsibilities, they need to use wisdom to become successful. Wisdom is the ability to combine experience, knowledge and good judgment. Wise people never stop learning.

Over the years I have observed and noted…

In elementary school you learn rules – English, math, history, etc. You learn facts.

In junior high school you learn relationships – feelings, expectations, disappointments. You realize your need of friends.

In high school you begin to learn to think independently – achievement, awareness. You realize your abilities and gifts.

In college you learn reasoning – mistakes, self-discipline. You learn how to learn.

In a Master’s program you learn research – fact-finding, applying knowledge to real-world problems. You learn how to find answers.

In a Doctorate program you learn respect – many different viewpoints, deep subjects. You realize that the mastery of one subject does not mean you know all subjects.

Every level of education is important. Complete each level as you are able. School is not the only measure of education. Having a good education depends on the subjects you learn. Someone has said that if bank robbers would use their “smarts” in business, they could be rich. A good education also depends on the source from which you learn. Attending a well-respected school can help you get a good education, and learning from Scripture can give you wisdom for life’s decisions, direction, and your destination. It is wise to learn the proven principles from the Bible.

Some people have the problem of being good at many things. Often these people try to do too much. They do many things halfway and never do one thing very well. They may be a “jack of all trades, but master of none.” Realize your strengths AND your limitations.

The “Dunning-Kruger Effect” states that people with less education or knowledge tend to think they have better understanding and knowledge than others. It seems that the more you know, the more you realize you do not know!

The most educated person may be the person who knows what he cannot do. He knows his strengths, but he also knows his limits. You do not need to have a doctor’s degree to understand your limitations. The pastor of a church does not need to know how to fix the church van. He just needs to know a good mechanic. The president of a corporation does not need to know how to do everything in his company, but he must know how to get the right people in the right places. Sometimes the educated answer is, “I don’t know.” Be careful when you meet people who have opinions on every subject. They do not realize their limitations (see 1 Timothy 6:4).

Example: A medical doctor with a Deaf patient speaks through sign language interpreters. Although the doctor is highly skilled in his specialty, he depends on sign language communication professionals (a fancy name for interpreters) for their specialty. Each person does his own specialty well so the Deaf patient can receive the best treatment. People who accept and do not go beyond their limitations seem to be even more educated than the degrees they have (Proverbs 17:28).

God has uniquely equipped you for the ministry he has for you. Do not try to be something you are not. Do not become a know-it-all or a do-it-all, but do continue to learn and grow. Accept how God has made you. Great peace comes from knowing “for if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2 Corinthians 8:12). Accept your limitations and willingly offer God what you have. You will be surprised how He will use you for His glory!

The Silent Word

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