Aiming at Wisdom or Knowledge

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15-16).

“And further, by these, my son, be admonished: of making many books [there is] no end; and much study [is] a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12).

The following is from John Owen (not a promotion or an endorsement of him as a true Christian, but I found his comments about ends and means helpful).

“Moreover, the means are of two sorts:  First, such as have a true goodness in themselves without reference to any farther kind; though not so considered as we use them for means. No means, as a means, is considered good in itself, but only as conducible to a farther end; it is repugnant to the nature of means, as such, to be considered as good in themselves. Study is in itself the most noble employment of the soul; but, aiming at wisdom or knowledge, we consider it as good only inasmuch as it conducteth to that end, otherwise as ‘a weariness of the flesh,’ Eccl. xii. 12.

Secondly, such [means] as have no good at all in any kind, as in themselves considered, but merely as conducing to that end which they are fit to attain. They receive all their goodness (which is but relative) from that whereunto they are appointed, in themselves no way desirable; as the cutting off a  leg or an arm for the preservation of life, taking a bitter potion for health’s sake, throwing corn and lading into the sea to prevent shipwreck” (John Owen; underlining and paragraphing mine).

Endeavor to read and study in a judicious and circumspect manner that is not conducive to weariness.