Abigail Adams (1744-1818) was the wife of the second president of the USA, John Adams, and the mother of the sixth president, John Quincy Adams. With no formal education, Abigail became an avid reader of classic literature, very intellectual on a variety of topics, and influential in government policy making. Abigail wrote: “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

Abigail’s observation mirrors the advice of King Solomon, who wrote in Proverbs 23:12: “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.” Learning doesn’t just happen. Knowledge isn’t innate; we aren’t born knowing all the facts and skills necessary for living a normal life. As we grow, we learn, acquire discipline and continue learning. The knowledge we acquire – whether through formal education, by trial and error or by discerning observation – makes us richer.

Let’s discipline ourselves to learn something new each day. King Solomon and First Lady Abigail Adams would be thrilled to know that their advice made a difference in our lives!

Prayer: Father, thank You for giving us sound minds. Help us to be diligent to fill them with knowledge and to seek instruction. Amen!



  1. Peg says:

    This reminds me so much of Dad. I remember Russ’ comment when we were making Dad’s funeral arrangements, when asked how much education Dad had. Russ replied: “until yesterday.” Dad was an avid reader and loved to learn new things even at age 95. And he knew hot to apply much of what he learned.


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