When we go to school, we go for a purpose. We go to receive an education so that we can acquire the knowledge necessary to become contributing members of society in our particular area of interest. Our year is full of lessons, reading assignments, reports, projects, and homework. And for what? All for the purpose of ensuring we learn the most vital information necessary in order to pass the class and move on to the next level. Throughout the years, the material becomes more difficult. The work complexity increases and requires more intense focus. This is the expectation in the school setting. It's the teacher's job to teach and it's the student's responsibility to learn.
So why is it that we don't always have the same expectation from the Academy of Life? Like classes students take every semester, God is trying to teach us lessons as we go through every season in our life. Class is always in session! When we realize that our Heavenly Father is trying to grow and mature us in preparation for the next level, the lessons He's teaching become a little more bearable. It's not always fun, and it requires hard work in that we must press in to Him more and sometimes do things we don't like to do, but in the end it expands our knowledge and increases our capacity to take in even more.
As this year comes to end, take a moment to reflect on all the life lessons you have learned in the last 365 days. Have you taken heed to all opportunities for growth? Because God is first and foremost concerned with His people, there are always lessons He is teaching in the following areas:
1. God desires for you to learn more about yourself. When you have a question about any product that you purchase, you can typically call a toll free number that will connect you to the company that manufactured it. They are the ones who can answer your questions because they know their product. In the same way, as your creator, God is always available to show you more about who you are. He knows you better than you know yourself and can give you the answers you need because He made you. He will use situations (both good and bad) to teach you more about yourself in order to relate to others and deal with circumstances more effectively.
2. God desires for you to learn more about others. Every situation you face, whether in the workplace, home, church, or community, will inevitably involve other people. We serve a relational God and He uses people to provide more insight and growth into our lives. When we learn to see people the way that God sees them, we are able to change our approach and perspective with them (1 Peter 3:15). Looking through God's eyes, we are able show more compassion and forgiveness. Learning about others can also prevent us from keeping toxic people in our lives. Yes, compassion and love for others is necessary, but it takes Godly wisdom to know when it needs to be given from a distance, as well as what it should look like.
3. God desires for you to learn more about Him. All throughout scripture He beckons people to seek His face and to learn of His hidden treasures (Colossians 2:2-3). He promises that those who seek Him will find Him and will even chase you down when you're not seeking Him (Psalm 23:6). He desires a relationship with you that much! He wants you to know Him well because that's the only way you'll understand His ways. It's the only way you'll comprehend His love for you (1John 4:16). And it's the only way you'll know the promises and benefits that you, as His child, have access to.
Although there are various scenarios, there's only one all-encompassing reason as to why God is constantly teaching you more about Himself, yourself, and others. It is so that you can better reflect His glory in your life. We are created in His image (Genesis 1:26); therefore, the more we learn about Him, the more we can learn to be like Him (Colossians 3:10), and then reflect that image onto others (John 13:15).
This New Year is something God has been preparing you for through many lessons and teachable moments. Before entering into the new season, ask yourself what you have learned in the previous one. And bring that knowledge into the next level.