One key to succeeding in your field of endeavour is to be systematic in your learning process. It allows you to master your craft and boosts the confidence needed for advancement. We live in an era where knowledge has increased, and the same with the means of its dissemination. You could be scrolling through social media and in a space of fifteen minutes have your brain moved from medical topics to AI, from construction engineering to cooking lasagne, from the process of shoemaking to mastering the art of leadership.
Engaging in this behaviour over time could lead you to believe that you’ve grasped those topics, not knowing that you are as shallow as shallow can be in those fields. While it is okay to learn a few things from other areas of life, the unconscious assumption that you know book because you facebook is wrong.
Have you asked yourself why schools have structured modules based on the student’s levels? We went through school not thinking about this because the arrangement was already there for us. We just had to follow the program for the semester, and we were settled. But outside the four walls of the university, courtesy of the era we live in, we randomly acquire information about things, especially those important for our career and destiny. Any side we turn, there is a bit of information to grab. So, we end up collating pieces of information on multiple levels of things that remain unstructured and confused in our minds. We become information-full but not knowledge-full; simply an information overload.
The Bible says that precepts must be taught in order; teachings must be line upon line because certain lines are foundational for other lines. The system of knowledge dispensation and acquisition needs to be structured so that some knowledge comes first and others after. The first knowledge serves as a foundation for others.
Imagine if I teach a first-year medical student about colectomy. He has no good background in gastrointestinal anatomy, its physiology, pathology of the colon and pathophysiology of colon cancer, for instance. He might be excited about what I am teaching, but that knowledge will not be solid because the needed substrate is absent. I would constantly find myself revisiting the foundational subjects, if I want him to go home with something other than excitement.
Random disconnected knowledge, both in the Christian faith and other areas of life, leads you nowhere. You might seem to know so much, but they are all fragmented bits that make you a master of nothing. Moreover, you can’t call that knowledge because they quickly evaporate.
Learn to build systematic knowledge. It is more tedious, burdensome and time-consuming. But it is worth it in the long run.