Have you ever noticed how a healthy child learns? They don’t stop to think ‘I must learn’, they just do it through in-built curiosity. And so the child progresses from ignorance to knowledge, which can lead on to wisdom or to folly depending on the lesson learnt! The mature person is never too old to learn but the immature person thinks they already know it all. Moses acquired a lot of knowledge in his Egyptian classrooms from his tutors but God had some bigger lessons to teach him, so he took him into the wilderness. Tired of tending sheep, Moses became curious when he noticed a bush that blazed but did not burn up – that was the beginning of his personal tutorial with God. Any bushes burning around you? Ready to learn something new with God?!
- ‘Never lose a holy curiosity’ – Albert Einstein
- ‘We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths’ – Walt Disney
- ‘An understanding of the natural world and what's in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment’ – David Attenborough
- ‘Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious!’ – Stephen Hawking
- ‘It is one thing to mortify curiosity, another to conquer it’ – Robert Louis Stevenson
Whilst curiosity is a God-given gift, it is one that must be used wisely or else it can lead to all sorts of troubles. The proverb declares that it was ‘curiosity killed the cat’! In the area of morality, curiosity can lead to entering dangerous pathways; unbridled curiosity will open the door in a Pandora’s Box of fleshly indulgence and untold pain. If only Adam and Eve had stuck to caring for the animals and environment rather than getting their teeth stuck into forbidden fruit. How then to tell the difference between a healthy interest and a dangerous obsession?
For the child of God, this should be something we know as we walk with Father God. He is the Audience of One who sees all we do in public and in private – he knows us completely. Christians sometimes still wear the ‘WWJD’ wristband – What Would Jesus Do! If you are struggling at present to know the difference between healthy curiosity in ‘a burning bush’ and a burning desire that will set you alight, here are some verses with reflections to help.
- TAKE GOD’S VIEW: ‘I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line’ – Isaiah 28:17
- FOLLOW WISDOM: ‘Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honour you’ – Proverbs 4:6-8
- RELY ON GOD’S WORD: ‘For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart’ – Hebrews 4:12
- APPLY GOD’S WORD: ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work’ – 2 Timothy 3:16
- MIND MATTERS: ‘Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things... And the God of peace will be with you’ – Philippians 4:8-9
- SELF CONTROL: ‘So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness’ – Ephesians 4:17-24
- HONEST TO GOD: ‘Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting’ – Psalm 139:23-24
- LIVING FOR GOD: ‘In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory’ – Ephesians 1:11-12
- WIN THE INNER BATTLE: ‘So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death’ – Romans 7:21 – 8:2
- STAND YOUR GROUND: ‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms’ – Ephesians 6:10-12
- WALK WELL: ‘Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it”’ – Isaiah 30:21
We don’t always win the battle but we can learn even in that a painful lesson. It is because Christ has overcome that we can be overcomers too, knowing that nothing ‘will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:39). Yes be curious if you see a burning bush, but be wisely so using God’s plumb line and listening for his voice.
TAGS – curiosity, battle, triumph, resistance, maturity