God created man in His image and likeness. Every man has a chance to progress. However, the development of different civilizations and countries have varied. Hence, the availability of public education differs between countries even today.
People consider formal education very important. But does God esteem a man by his education, appearance, wealth, status, or personality? No, he does not. 1 Samuel 16:7(NIV) teaches us what God does value in people: “But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
It is a person’s heart condition which God counts important. Is the heart humble, honest, teachable, seeking after God? The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 (NET), “Think about the circumstances of your call, brothers and sisters. Not many were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were born to a privileged position. But God chose what the world thinks foolish to shame the wise, and God chose what the world thinks weak to shame the strong. God chose what is low and despised in the world, what is regarded as nothing, to set aside what is regarded as something, so that no one can boast in his presence…Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God…”
Unfortunately, many well-educated people think too highly of themselves and are arrogant. They reject God and His word. But we know that God has planned something wonderful for every human being – no matter where he came from, what skin color he has, how educated or wealthy he is. “…God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.” Acts 10:34, 35 (NIV).
The apostle Paul was taught by prominent Jewish rabbis and had an excellent education (Acts 22:3). Yet after he became a Christian, he decided to focus his whole heart, mind and life on following Jesus. “For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” 1 Corinthians 2:2 (NASB).
We may seek to improve our reading and critical thinking skills in order to better study God’s word. However, let Paul’s words guide us. Our life’s work and focus should be to know Jesus, to know God’s plan for man and to proclaim the glorious future of God’s Kingdom. Then human wisdom and education will turn out to be only vanity and chasing wind – “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.” Ecclesiastes 1:18