I sit down at my computer once again. My fingers touch the keys. My thoughts wander. I have to write yet another paper but feel pulled toward so many other things at this moment.
Why am I even in school? What about all the other things I wish to do? Does it really matter how well I complete my schoolwork?
Being in college has often landed me in this situation, and I’m sure I’m not alone.
What starts as an exciting launch into a new phase of schooling quickly lands us in monotony. We are bound to become bored, disinterested, and idle as the year goes on.
Whether it’s middle school, high school, or college, school is one of those things that is inevitable for many of us. As each semester grows more difficult, it becomes even easier to give up trying, shift into neutral, or even fashion schoolwork into an idol.
Is it biblical to engage with our schoolwork halfheartedly? Or should we hold it up so highly that we forget what is most important? If the gospel changes everything, should it not also change the way we view school and do homework?
Designed to Work
In the beginning, God made the universe. He created the world and designed mankind and animals to inhabit it. He intended for man to enjoy His creation and live in close fellowship with Himself.
But God also designed mankind to work.
The Fall of humanity in the Garden of Eden caused work to become difficult and filled with hardship. But the introduction of sin into the world is not what created work. Prior to the Fall, Genesis 2:15 says, “The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.” If God created work, and everything He made is good, then work is good.
God worked to create the world in six days, and on the seventh, He rested, setting a balanced pattern for us to follow. Work is an inherent aspect of our nature, one that innately reveals a characteristic of the One who created us.
We were created to work, and through our work, we reflect our Creator.God worked to create the world in six days, and on the seventh, He rested. We were created to work, and through our work, we reflect our Creator. Click To Tweet
Do you work in a way that reflects the God you serve? Do you treat your schoolwork with the gravity that your level of diligence reveals attributes of God’s character? Does your work reflect yourself, or your God?
All for God’s Glory
With whatever work I do, I have a purpose in doing it. Whether I seek to make my parents proud, to make my teachers happy, or to simply complete the task so I can do the next thing, I accomplish my assignments for someone. The question is, who am I working for, and what is my purpose in this work? Am I completing tasks merely to get them done? Am I working diligently simply to make A’s and B’s and be a top student? What do I hope to achieve?
Although our goal may be a worthy one, if our hearts do not seek to glorify God in all our work, then this work we do is worthless. While maintaining good grades is a good goal, if that is the only thing fueling our diligence, then we have missed the entire purpose of our lives.
As Christians, our work serves a deeper purpose. We have been saved from the darkness of sin and death, being saved to a new life, a new purpose. The way we live must reflect our new purpose: to glorify the One who saved us from a life of slavery to sin and an eternity of death.Our work serves a deeper purpose. We have been saved from darkness and death, into new life and new purpose. The way we live must reflect our new purpose: to glorify the One who saved us from a life of slavery to sin and death. Click To Tweet
Paul writes, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God,” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If we are to glorify God when we do monotonous tasks such as eating and drinking, should we not also glorify God in our schoolwork?
The way we think about and complete our school work reflects the purpose of our entire lives.
Do we complete it with integrity? God commands honesty in everything we do.
Do we rush through our work and complete it halfheartedly? God wants us to work heartily and unto Him.
Do we put our everything into our work so we look better to our parents, teachers, and classmates? God is jealous of us to give Him, and Him alone, our ultimate devotion and praise.
Work with a Heart of Worship
The teen years are seen as a time where we have a free pass to embrace laziness and avoid hard work and responsibility. It’s expected for teens to waste time and procrastinate.
But as teens who love Jesus Christ, we must rise above these expectations.
Schoolwork can be hard, but we are called to do hard things, and to do them for God’s glory.
As we enter a new school year, let’s analyze our lives, our motives, and who we are working for.
God deserves our worship in all of life, even in our schoolwork.
Before we work, let’s take time to read a portion of Scripture, pray, and redirect our hearts towards God in worship. As we launch into our work, let’s do our best and do it all for the Lord and not for man.
“Do we put our everything into our work so we look better to our parents, teachers, and classmates? God is jealous of us to give Him, and Him alone, our ultimate devotion and praise.”
Thank you, Kyla. Just today I was thinking about how the gospel should be the main reason for everything I do, not just the foundation for salvation, but also in sanctification and living for Jesus. It’s just so hard to think like that! It requires a renewed and transformed mind! I realize now that much of my dedication to schoolwork has been just what I quoted above: it’s been to please people or even so I have more respect for myself. But, the gospel applied to this situation tells me there is nothing in me to begin with! I am a sinner; what will good grades do to chance this hopeless situation? Yet while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. He valued me when I had no worth, so I ought not to seek worth in worldly things. He loved me when I was unloveable, so why do I think the measure of love I receive depends on my academic abilities? He is perfectly pleased with me because of His son, so why would I live to please others? I must seek to live a life that pleases Him (2 Corinthians 5:9) ! A life that glorifies Him, not myself nor (through fearing men over God) other fallible people.
“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, But to Your name give glory Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.” Psalm 115:1
Audrey, thank you so much for your comment! I completely agree with you! Especially in high school, I struggled so much with merely trying to please my parents, teachers, and my peers. I love how you said that God is pleased with us because of Jesus’ righteousness on our behalf, so why should we seek to please others? Instead, we should live to please God because He alone has redeemed us and brought us from death to life. Thanks again, Audrey, for these words!