Curiosity is a strong desire to learn or know something and an excursion toward an answer or discovery. It can help us to step outside of our familiar world and into new worlds and possibilities. Moreover, to be curious can take us down a beautiful journey of finding our Creator in creation and God’s secret things that are hidden within his created universe.
“It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out” (Proverbs 25:2).
God has concealed so much within the world and His creation. There is a richness in searching and discovering to understand as well as an importance to remaining curious throughout our life. God’s grace has and continues to show us many things, through nature, through our inner conscience and through His God-breathed Word.
Exodus 34:6 is the first description of God’s attributes found in the Bible, and it is in this passage where we learn that all of God’s actions are an expression of these attributes: compassion, grace, patience, loyal love, and faithfulness. The Hebrew word for “gracious” in Exodus 34:6 is “khanun,” which is related to the Hebrew noun “khen.” This word, “khen,” is often translated as “grace,” but it can also be translated with words like “delight,” “favor,” “charm,” or “beauty.” Khen can also be used to communicate an act of generous favor (The Bible Project, 2023).
How are curiosity and graciousness connected? In God’s grace He has shared many of the deep things of Himself. God is without limits, specifically not limited by time or space while we, as humans, are finite. While God is so infinitely above and beyond us and our ability to fully comprehend that, He has graciously revealed Himself so that we may understand what He is like. God has not left us ignorant about Himself. Rather, He has revealed Himself through both general revelation (creation and our conscience) and Spirit led revelation (the written Word of God, the Bible, and the living Word of God, Jesus Christ). His Spirit searches out all deep things of God and shows us the hidden secrets of the Lord. While God is still a mystery in many ways, He gives us great insight, through revelation, into His nature, character, attributes, will, and while not limited to, love. We just have to be open and curious to seek them out.
There are many beautiful discoveries of the Lord through curiosity and there are also practical reasons why curiosity is beneficial. According to Anderson University (The Importance of Being…Curious) there are four large reasons why being curious is important.
- Curiosity cultivates an active mind versus passive mind: Curious people tend to continuously ask questions and seek out the answers. The mind is like a muscle that becomes stronger through continual exercise and exposure to challenges, thus the mental exercise caused by curiosity makes your mind stronger and stronger.
- Curiosity makes your mind open and alert of new ideas: When you are curious about something, your mind expects and anticipates new ideas related to the subject that you are seeking out. Additionally, there is a greater chance of recognizing new ideas because your mind is prepared to acknowledge new information and discoveries.
- Curiosity opens up new and undiscovered worlds and possibilities: By being curious you are able to discern and see new worlds and possibilities that are normally not easily seen.
- Curiosity cultivates excitement into your life – Learning new things helps mitigate monotony and dullness.
“I have no special talents,” said Albert Einstein. “I am only passionately curious.”
Additionally, curiosity can benefit us by encouraging a more open mind, increasing greater enjoyment and enthusiasm engaging with our environment, increasing awareness of self and of the world, increasing openness to learning new things, increasing self-confidence, increasing work related performance and interpersonal relationship quality. Here are some practical ways to develop curiosity (Adapted from The Importance of Being…Curious, Anderson University):
- Keep an open mind – Be open to learn, unlearn, and relearn. Be open and prepared to accept the possibility that what you have believed to be either right or wrong is perhaps not so cut and dry which may lead to changing your mind.
- Try to not take things at face value- Take time to dig deeper versus accepting the world as you perceive it to be. Try to dig deeper beneath the surface of what is around you.
- Ask questions continuously – What, why, when, who, where, and how are instrumental questions for curious people to help them dig deeper.
- Be mindful with your language – Pay attention to what you label as “boring” as it can lead to closing a door filled with unlikely possibilities and discoveries. As the author of Ecclesiastes stated, “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). While certain “doors” may not be opened right now they may open at a later time.
- Reframe learning as fun and exciting – If you view learning through the lens of burdensome and overwhelming it will be challenging to want to cultivate curiosity and dig deeper into the mysteries of God and creation. While easier said than done, consider looking through the learning lens of fun and exciting to help the journey be enriching and transformative.
- Read diverse genres and topics – Try to pick a book or magazine on a new subject to help spark your interest to explore them further.
Curiosity is a beneficial quality to cultivate and hone both practically and spiritually. With God, there remains many secret things that are hidden from us within his creation and there are many marvelous truths that are hidden in the inerrant Word of God. It is by God’s grace that we have enquiring minds and the capacity to investigate, to learn and to search out the truth.
God, give us a heart that is curious and teachable and a spirit that is humbly submitted to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Be the lamp unto our feet so that we can discover many hidden truths and secret treasures within the wonderful and powerful person of Jesus. May we be ongoing students who search out those secret things and the deepness of God in Your Word and in creation around me. Amen.
-Carlyn Wood – Learn more about working with Carlyn here!
Anderson University. (2023, March 13). The Importance of Being…Curious. https://andersonuniversity.edu/sites/default/files/student-success/importance-of-being-curious.pdf
The Bible Project. (2023, March 13). Grace. https://bibleproject.com/explore/video/character-of-god-grace/