We begin at the lowest grade
(J. R. Miller, "Devotional Hours with the Bible")
"Learn from Me—for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29
All of Christian life is a school. "Learn from Me," said the Master. We are only beginners when we first become Christians, and enter Christ's school. We begin at the lowest grade. We do not have to wait until we know a great deal before we begin to attend school. School is not for finished scholars—but for the most ignorant. We may come to Christ when we know almost nothing. He is the teacher—and all believers are learners.
"Learn from Me—for I am gentle." Gentleness is a lesson which we are to learn. It will probably take us a good long while to learn this lesson—but we must learn it because it is in Christ's curriculum for all His students.
Contentment is another lesson which we must learn. When he was well along in life, Paul said, "I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation." It was a long and difficult lesson for him to learn.
Patience is a lesson that has to be learned. An impatient person is not a complete Christian.
Thoughtfulness is a necessary lesson. There are a great many thoughtless Christians. They are always blundering in their interactions with others. They say the wrong word, they do the wrong thing. They are always hurting other people's feelings, giving pain to gentle hearts. Yet it is all from thoughtlessness. "I didn't mean to offend him. I didn't mean to be unkind. I just never thought!" There are few lessons in Christian life that more people need to learn, than this of thoughtfulness.
We have to learn to trust. Worry is a sin. It is probably as great a sin as dishonesty or profanity or bad temper. Yet a good many Christian people worry—and one of the most important lessons in Christ's school, is to learn not to worry.
Kindness is a lesson we must learn. It takes many years to learn the one little lesson of kindness.
Joy is a lesson to be learned.
Peace is another.
Humility is another necessary lesson.
Praise is a great lesson.
All of life is a school, and it is in learning these lessons—that Jesus says we shall find rest for your souls. Christ Himself is our teacher, and with Him we should never fail to learn, though it be only slowly. Then as we learn our lessons, our lives will grow continually more and more into quietness, peace and Christlikeness.