It’s that time of year. Senior pranks, fancy invitations, anxious teenagers, air horns, and balloons; these are all indicators of a major upcoming event—high school graduation. I remember well the growing anticipation of being free from the rigors of schoolwork, the demands of teachers, and the confines of my hometown. While the term “commencement” focuses on the fact of beginning, there is also a real sense in which it is a point of termination. It is the beginning of a whole new world that lays ahead for the graduate, while it is the conclusion of twelve long years of required education. The excitement of graduation is rooted in a desire for something new—a change.
We all have this innate desire for something new. We want the latest and the greatest. Advertisers know this, so they hit us with commercials aimed to make us discontent with our current situation in life. They want us to grow dissatisfied with our ancient computers, tiny houses, dead-end jobs, slow cars, and out-of-style clothes. Christian booksellers also employ marketing strategies aimed at convincing you that there is something missing in your spiritual life. This void can only be filled by their latest books that are guaranteed to compel your Christian life or understanding to the next level.
By His grace, God has given us a longing for growth. We don’t like to stagnate. Everyone wants more out of life and Christians want more of God. We have a yearning to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” But how should we pursue this growth? Should we anxiously await the next bestselling Christian book that has “the key” to a higher life in Christ? Or should we place our hope in a “word from the Lord” the television preacher receives?
The Bible makes it clear that the key to genuine spiritual growth is not found in looking forward to something new and evolving but looking back to something eternal and unchanging—God’s Word. We are not called to invent or discover truth, we are commanded to retain it, guard it, remember it and remind others of it, obey it, and suffer for it. There is no higher knowledge of God attainable on earth than what can be found in the Scriptures. Thus Paul urges Timothy to “continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of” because “all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable” (2 Tim. 3:14, 16).
So with all of the excitement and hype surrounding academic graduation ceremonies, may we be reminded that there is no graduation from the gospel. There is no higher education than what is contained in the Scriptures. Let us not anxiously await the discovery of something new, but let us ambitiously search the Scriptures daily that we might know God more. May God give us grace that our minds might never “be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3).