Curiosity is a marvelous thing. It has been the catalyst for the great discoveries of life. Human beings rarely find themselves content with what we know and experience. God equipped each one of us with a suite of mental tools to satisfy our inquisitive natures. We have the drive to understand and explore. We like to solve puzzles and mysteries. Adults never lose the child’s insatiable drive to ask “Why? … why? … why?” about the world around them—we only ask that question with greater degrees of specificity and sophistication.
Curiosity can be a dangerous thing. Our investigations can lead us into areas we ought not to go. We may be tempted to explore what is sinful and spiritually harmful. Such things often present themselves as mysterious and inviting. It’s okay, we’re told, to color outside the lives, be just a bit naughty, push boundaries, or take a brisk walk on the wild side. After all, what could it possibly hurt?
Most of us learn fairly quickly that curiosity can land us in serious trouble if we aren’t careful. The phrase “curiosity killed the cat” has been around in the English language in one form or another for over five hundred years. Its longevity is a testimony to its truthfulness. We all want to know, but some of us have a little trouble balancing satisfying our curiosity with suffering its consequences.
Holy curiosity is a wonderful thing. It caused Moses to discover why a flaming bush burned but was not consumed (Exodus 3:3). It sent shepherds racing off to Bethlehem to see the newborn Jesus (Luke 2:15). It prompted questions from Christ’s disciples (Matthew 24:3). Peter and John used it as a springboard for preaching the gospel to astonished onlookers who had seen them heal a paralyzed man (Acts 3:1-26). It caused an Ethiopian man to invite Philip to explain the prophet Isaiah in an understandable way (Acts 8). For nearly two thousand years, it has stirred the emotions and imaginations of countless other believers.
We can display the same holy curiosity in investigating and meditating upon Scripture. We should never remain content with our level of Bible knowledge, assuming we have nothing more to learn (see Proverbs 2:1-22). Sinful complacency and sinful curiosity often are two sides of the same coin. The breadth and depth of Scripture ensure that we will always have more information to learn, more connections to make, and more puzzles to solve. Indeed, Paul refers to the mystery of the gospel (Colossians 1:26). With a book so rich and deep as the Bible, perhaps it’s a good thing that our curiosity will never be completely satisfied.