We’re back in school. Homework is being assigned. Our schedules are getting busy and stress is setting in. But wait. Let’s take a minute to think — to remember what really matters this school year. Here are 10 things I’m trying to remember in the midst of the rising craziness:
1. Seek out fellow believers
We can be there to encourage, support, and build up one another, and to keep each other accountable. I’m not saying to form these “holy huddles” and exclude other people, or be rude to our non-Christian friends. We should still reach out to other people. But it’s so beneficial (and important) for us to be around those who inspire and encourage us to pursue God with all our hearts, and share the gospel with others.
2. Love people well
This is the foundation for how we treat people who cross our path: showing Christ-like love. Even in the little things, to show others you care, like listening to them, talking with them, which leads to the next point …
3. Befriend those who need a friend
They’re everywhere. They’re the ones sitting alone in the cafeteria, the ones by themselves in a corner, the little wallflowers that most people overlook, or who some ignore. I think this is something we can often forget to do (well, at least for me), but Christ was friends with the unpopular, the outcasts. (John 4:4-26, 8:2-11, etc.)
4. Our teachers aren’t our enemies
Our teachers are there to help us! And there’s nothing wrong with befriending them. I’m very blessed to have teachers who are all Christians, but I know that isn’t the case with everyone. If they’re not Christians, you can still pray for them and show them Christ’s love. And show them a lot of respect. Teachers really appreciate that.
5. Our enemies aren’t our enemies
Now this may seem kind of strange, but it’s true. We should try to be careful not to go out of our way to make enemies. If there’s someone we just *can’t* get along with (which definitely does happen), we should love them, pray for them, and (this probably might sound strange) also ask God to bless them. That’s, at least, what helps me if I am having a hard time getting along with someone.
6. Excel & praise God
Some people are good at sports. Others are the straight A’s student. Some people have the mind of Albert Einstein, and others the mind of Jane Austen. Or something. Whatever we’re good at, we should most definitely pursue it! But instead of doing it for our reputation, we should do it for God’s.
7. Make school a better place
There are so many ways to go about this. Standing up for what’s right. Sharing the gospel (without shoving it down people’s throats). Community service. And even just being … happy, and a joy to be around. And we should know that, whatever we do, concerning school, the way we act and behave should benefit our school, not hurt it.
8. Pray for our schools
We can pray for teachers, our Christian friends, non-Christian friends, the staff, anyone. The power of prayer should never be underestimated. Maybe pray that God will work in their lives, and draw them to Himself? Or pray that we will be a light to those around us?
9. Invite people to church
You know that guy who probably believes there is a God out there somewhere, but hasn’t fully committed his life to Christ? Or that girl who wants nothing to do with God at all? Maybe, after some thought and prayer, we could welcome those people to church.
10. Be a godly example
Be the kind of person who works hard & loves well. Stand up for what’s right, and stand up for others, come what may. Show love & respect to all, including the outsiders.
But really the entire basis of doing all these things is this: fostering a Christ-like, sacrificial love for others. All of them can only flow from a heart close to Jesus, and when we have a close, abiding relationship with the Father.
And this isn’t some kind of “legalistic list” that we have to follow in order to be a “good Christian student”, but they are good things to strive for, and they’re good things to remember (and may come in handy) no matter where we go to school.
What are you goals for this school year?
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