“We are to develop a Christian character with respect to the intellect. To that end we must first of all instill a love of truth– not just saving truth but also scientific truth and truth in everyday life.
This love of truth is not only of formal (logical) truth- that is, not just the freedom of our propositions from contradiction– but also the love of material, factual truth.
Christianity has given us knowledge of God as the Truth (John 17:3; 14:6) and given us proper love for the truth, not for its own sake (which is ultimately for our own sake, egotistically), but made possible for the sake of God.
The Word, a lamp unto our feet, the truth (John 17:17), enables us to pursue truth, to recognize it, to distinguish it from the lie (Acts 17:11; 1 Cor. 2:14-16; 1 John 4:1; 1 Thess. 5:21).
Indifferentism and skepticism are therefore not permitted for the Christian– they are a sickness of the soul that needs healing. And we are called to abound, to mature, to grow in knowledge (Rom. 12:4-8; 1 Cor. 12 and 13; Phil. 1:9; 4:8; 1 Thess. 5:21; Titus 3:8-9; 2 Pet. 3:18).
But the arena of the intellect contains other faculties, each of which also needs to be developed. These include the capacity to pay attention and to observe, for to observe is better than the fat of rams (cf. 1 Sam. 15:22).
Not paying attention is a great sin (2 Chron. 33:10; Prov. 1:24; Zech. 7:11).
In every field, attentiveness, both spiritual and natural, is so difficult. We must compel our senses to observe well, and we must practice this. To see, hear, touch, and read well is such an art.
Next, there is memory and the capacity of recollection: the cupbearer forgot Joseph (Gen. 40:23); Israel repeatedly forgot the covenant, forgot the Lord (Deut. 4:23; 6:12; 8:11-16; 32:18), forgot God’s works and wonders (Ps. 78:7, 11), forgot their Savior (Ps. 106:21); we are forgetful hearers (James 1:25).
The believer, however, is seized with a desire to remember it all-God’s acts of loving-kindness (Ps. 48:9), His works (Ps. 77:12)-in order to remember His word, law, and ordinances and not forget them (Ps. 119:16, 61, 83, 176).
The same is true in the natural arena: kindnesses should be inscribed in marble, but insults written in sand.”
–Herman Bavinck, Reformed Ethics, Volume 2: The Duties of the Christian Life, Ed. John Bolt (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2021), 2: 406.