When Study Has Become Wearisome

One of the dangers of too much study is that it can be wearisome (Ecclesiastes 12.12). It can be down right bad for your soul. I have heard a dean speak about every aspect of study should be an act of worship. While this is true, what is it about too much study that makes us weary?

Loss of perspective and man-centeredness cause us to tire of swimming in the depths of God’s mercy. As I sit down to study for the 7th hour I find that I flip the pages to see how much there is left to a chapter or book. I rub my eyes and wonder why I am more excited by controversy than by condescension. I stretch my arms and fingers and think about my love of my words while I relegate God’s word to the periphery of my life.

In essence, what I have done is lost my perspective of what study is meant to accomplish. Solomon told us that it wearies the soul if we seek to add to the words of the wise (v. 11). The quintessential wise man is the one who fears God and keeps his commands. The wise man is not the one with the most letters after his name; he is the faithful one. The thousands of pages that I read are meant to help me delve deeper into God’s eternal riches.

I have also become man-centered in my approach to God’s text. I have equated the fillign of my mind and the recital of truth to others as the criteria by which my spirituality is measured. When my study has become God-centered I thank God before, during, and after my study. When my study is God-centered I will not count myself as having become more intelligent, but as becoming more sanctified as I apply my knowledge to my life.

Studying is worship when it is done within the context of the fear of the Lord. As we sit down in our studies we must remember that we sit under the gaze of the Almighty who has lisped so that we might understand a fraction of his magnificience.

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