“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Have you ever had the following experience?
You look at the clock, and you suddenly realize that a considerable length of time has passed by without noticing it.
This might mean that you regret having wasted a lot of time without getting much done.
Or, it might mean that you didn’t feel the flow of time because you were studying or working very hard.
In which situation do you usually find yourself?
If you are always doing something but without much achievement, why don’t you think about increasing your concentration?
With increased power to concentrate, you can be absorbed in your work to the point that you don’t sense the flow of time.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will apply this message to yourself very well and use the 24 hours a day like it is 48 hours.
Dear students and members of Manmin,
This is the fifth session on the ‘Keys to Studying Well’.
Today, I will talk about the third condition that is necessary for studying well, which is the ability to study with concentration by eliminating any idle thoughts.
What are the idle thoughts that disturb the students the most?
They are thoughts about the worldly things.
Here, the worldly things refer to everything that is from the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life.
Namely they are all kinds of untruths and flesh that have nothing to do with God.
Why then would the worldly things cause idle thoughts?
It’s because worldly things are usually provocative and arousing.
It is easy to store things that you see or hear in your memory that are stored with strong feelings.
The stronger the feelings in storing the memory, the deeper it will be planted in the memory.
For example, when you transplant the rice seedlings in the rice paddy, they will fail in the water if you do not plant them deep enough.
However, if you plant them deep enough, they can take root and grow well.
In the same way, if what you see or hear is planted without strong feelings, it is not planted deep in your memory, and the memory goes away after a couple of days.
But the knowledge that is planted deep within the memory will last longer.
This ‘feeling’ plays a key role of planting the knowledge deep inside the memory device.
For example, if you went through a war in your childhood, you will vividly have those memories for the rest of your life.
You will remember the weather conditions, the clothes you were wearing, and how other people were acting on that particular day, as if it happened yesterday.
Even though you might forget about it, you will remember it immediately by just having something that may remind you of it.
Some of our senior citizens say that every June, they are reminded of the evacuation that took place during the Korean War.
If you did not have any particular feeling when you came in contact with something of the world, you would soon forget what you saw or heard.
But if you had some strong feelings about something, you will keep it deeply, and you will be reminded of it very well.
Also, the mental functioning of students is very active, and they have better memory formation than adults.
Especially, if you feel studying is boring, it is likely that you will be reminded of the worldly things that you have input with good feelings.
Now, let us talk about a couple of cases as to how the worldly things become idle thoughts.
First, curiosity towards worldly things can cause idle thoughts.
Curiosity is desire that is drawn towards new and out of the ordinary things.
Students are going through a time when they have a lot of curiosity.
There are many things in this world that they experience for the first time and that they find exciting.
The curiosity itself is not something bad.
The problem is they have curiosity that becomes directed towards the untruthful things of the world.
For example, suppose a student watched a scene in a movie where lovers are making out. It was for the first time in his life he had seen such a thing.
He is amazed.
Later, the memory of that scene comes to mind while in class and during his study time.
His curiosity is stimulated and he thinks, “What kind of feeling would I have if I experienced it?”
If you have curiosity about untruthful things, the enemy devil and Satan will not miss that chance.
They will come into your thoughts and stimulate and incite the desires and curiosity.
Then, to fulfill that curiosity, you might look for and see the things that you are not supposed to see.
You will watch more movies that have similar scenes.
Your curiosity keeps on increasing, and you will have strong desire to date somebody and actually do those things.
Furthermore, just as climbing vines keep branching and growing, other idle thoughts keep coming to your mind.
You will have thoughts like, “If I put on nice outfit like the movie star, I can get a lot of attention. Where can I get those clothes? Hey, one of my friends knows a good shop. Do I also have to work out to have a better body?” Then, your mind and thoughts will be farther and farther away from studying.
Also, those who have experienced some physical contact with opposite sex will be reminded of their experience when they see anything similar.
Then, they will have strong desire to have the same kind of feeling once again.
The magnitude of feelings will vary according to the age of having such an experience.
Children of different ages have different feelings about the same thing.
As their bodies and mental age are more mature, they will have stronger feelings.
Also, even though they were too young to feel something significant at that time, they will have curiosity later, when they grow up to some extent.
If they cannot overcome such curiosity and desire, they might do things that students are not supposed to do or commit sins.
Suppose a child came in contact with obscene material in elementary school by chance, and he continues to look at those things. Finally he commits sins in his teens.
You must not be deceived by the enemy devil and Satan.
Do the worldly things look good and gorgeous?
The enemy devil and Satan tempt you saying that taking the worldly things are good and entertaining, but it is a lie.
You might get pleasure for a moment if you subject yourself to the worldly things, but after all you will be left with only the sense of vanity.
You might also fall into eternal death.
Therefore, if curiosity towards the worldly things arises, I hope you will drive it away with the word of the truth.
Drive away such curiosity and desires thinking about the fearfulness of Hell.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and students of Manmin,
Secondly, idle thoughts are caused by your desire to have fun and to enjoy the worldly entertainment.
Such a desire will be stronger if you feel studying is boring.
This kind of idle thought is caused by the desire to seek the pleasures and fun that is of the world.
For example, those who really like computer games want to feel the pleasure of playing the game again and again.
In more serious cases, the letters in the books look like an enemy that they have to destroy. Their study room has the appearance of a space found in the game.
Some students love hanging out with their friends so much, and their minds are filled with those things.
They have constant idle thoughts such as, “My friend and I are going to see a movie tomorrow! I want tomorrow to come quickly! He is going to treat me to the movie, so I wonder if I should buy the dinner! What would we eat? How am I going to get the money?”
They soon begin to daydream without even studying one page of the book. They just cannot concentrate.
Of course, I believe this kind of action is history for most of you students here.
Now you understand the cause of idle thoughts, so if you are spending your study time this way, I hope you will drive them away and change your attitudes.