What does it mean to be "successful" as a Christian student?
A, B, C, D, F …
These are five little letter grades that are used in our school systems for the purpose of measuring our progress in the hopes of enhancing our chances at having a “successful” life. Most of us, if we are honest, have been influenced one way or the other by this (or a similar) grading system. Many of us have felt extremely pressured to meet the academic standards set by our parents, peers, or even ourselves. To some of us, obtaining stellar scores comes easy while, to others, it may be an uphill battle. With all of the stress that comes from pursuing excellent grades, it can be very easy for us to lose sight of where our true value and worth come from. Believe me, I know! Let’s rewind back to a few months ago in my life…
My College Graduation
It was the day that I had awaited for seventeen years. The day that I had spent years, months, days, and seconds working up to. I thought it would never come. It was my college graduation. As I sat in anticipation, taking in everyone and everything around me, I basked in the knowledge that I had worked so hard all of my life for this very moment. This moment was one that many would only dream of, but God was blessing me with. I tried to soak it all in. Finally they called my name: “Faith Siler…Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries”. And that was that. I turned my tassel and it was over…I had graduated from Biola University after four years of faithfully pursuing a double major and a minor. I thought to myself, “This is it? I worked long and hard all this time to achieve grade letters that would somehow give me an identity?” It was right then and there that God helped me to understand that graduating from college was a blessing, one that I could never thank Him enough for. However, He also showed me that even if I had never accomplished what I had, who I am and my place in His Kingdom would never change. I was, am, and will always be a daughter of the Most High Kings. My GPA and my extracurricular activities could not define my worth, and neither can yours.
Knowing whose you are
You are valued for who you are and, as long as you know WHOSE you are, then you have the key to success always. True success in this life happens when you are living out God’s will for your life. It comes when you are focused on serving God with all that you have. It is not dependent on your SAT scores or your attendance record, but is all about the life you are living for Him. Now, this is not to say that doing your best in school and setting and achieving high standards is wrong. No way! I was absolutely committed to giving my best in school. However, the difference was that I knew that, no matter what, my value and my purpose in this world were only dependent on God’s opinion of me. I chose to invite God into my studies and allow Him to work deeply within me as I was learning and growing. That was what truly helped me to make it to the academic finish line.
My encouragement is to you to pursue who God desires for you to be and allow Him to move richly in your lives. Set goals and work hard at whatever you do, but don't look to what you DO to define you. Look to Him to show you who you ARE and all that He has planned for you. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start acing LIFE!