Essentially, I enjoy tests because I love knowing things. C.S. Lewis would rebuke me for this. In his lecture, “Learning in War Time,” he stated that it’s dangerous to love the fact that we know something, rather than being intrinsically interested in the thing itself. To Lewis, loving the fact that we know something is the beginning of arrogance.
I’m inclined to agree with him. Still, I enjoy the gradual accumulation of knowledge culminating in a test. Pride is one of my vices. But I wish I’d been writing last year, and I wish I’d told you how frustrating my first year of school was. It was full of small facts without context. Only at the end of the year did I realize we had systematically surveyed all the intricacies of the human body. I may have forgotten 60% of what I learned, but the fact that I recall 40% means I know quite a lot.
But knowing something is morally dangerous. In whatever we do, we need to ensure our motives are pure. To be interested in science is to glorify God. To be interested in acquiring more knowledge is to glorify myself.
Perhaps this is one of the things that makes Christianity unique. The actions we take are important, but our intent is more important. God commands us to love him and to love people, but love is an emotion. God commands us to change our attitudes and our way of thinking. Once we do this, our actions will change. Enjoying the fact that I know something is arrogant. If I don’t recognize that, I may waste a lot of time trying to acquire knowledge so that I become greater. Instead, I should love science because nature displays God’s glory, and I should use the education he’s blessed me with to help others in any way I can.
“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)