The Danger of Ceasing to Learn

D. A. Carson warns that athletes do not drift into excellence, and neither do Christians:

“People do not drift towards holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate towards godliness, prayer, and obedience to Scripture, faith, and delighting the Lord. Instead, we drift towards compromise and call it tolerance; we drift towards disobedience and call it freedom; we drift towards superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of loss of self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”


“We cherish the indiscipline of loss of self-control and call it relaxation . . .
we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.”

After evaluating every character named in the New Testament, Dr. J. Robert “Bobby” Clinton concluded that only one in four ended well. We don’t naturally drift toward Christ, but we easily drift away from him, especially if we are not actively pursuing growth and learning.

“[M]ost people cease learning by the age of forty,” Dr. Clinton said. “[T]hey no longer actively pursue knowledge, understanding, and experience that will enhance their capacity to grow and contribute to others.Most simply rest on what they already know. But those who finish well maintain a positive learning attitude all their lives.”


“Most people cease learning by the age of forty . . .
But those who finish well maintain a positive learning attitude all their lives.”

Alex Strauch describes the biblical mandate to grow in Christ and discusses eight guards you must put up to protect yourself from spiritual drift in his video series An Elder’s Personal Life and Growth.