For the Sidetracked Student
Are you bored with your classes? For the Christian student struggling to concentrate in class, in personal studies, or in both, I encourage you to recall Paul’s words in 2 Timothy 1:7: “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” How can the spirit of power, love, and sound mind help you with studies? By rethinking our perception of taking a class. We often see classes as just jumping through a hoop society requires in order to have more vocational freedom, but we should instead see it as a means of bolstering our stewardship for the Lord. We should be bold in the knowledge of Timothy’s words to increase our stewardship and to perceive the classes seemingly unrelated to our majors as avenues by which to fortify our stewardship.
If you have trouble focusing, it’s possible you don’t value the material enough, which limits your understanding of how much value is in whatever you can’t focus on. If your understanding is limited, your attentiveness will wane. You won’t think it’s worth your time, and ultimately your scholastic performance can suffer. Why should you be concerned? Earning better grades is a simple way to excel in your responsibility as a steward for God’s glory. If you find yourself constantly unable to focus in class, pray for the ability to see your lack of interest as a viewpoint in need of sharpening rather than a weakness. Pray and ask God for the boldness to see beyond your seeming inability to focus or learn, to see value in all your studies whether you intentionally care about them already or not, that your excellence in stewardship will transcend boundaries you may believe to be insurmountable, and you’ll be lifted up to the even greater excellence we’re called to in 2 Peter.
As stewards of God, we should concern ourselves more with strengthening our spiritual stewardships for the sake of our entire lives rather than with temporary benefits. We should not be so concerned with taking the easy road. We should concern ourselves more with expanding our understanding of God and the embodiment of Truth. As the opening verses of Psalm 37 instruct us, we should first prioritize continually growing in knowledge of the Lord. Any scholastic degree we aspire to attain should aid in our mission to know Him more. We should consider every day an opportunity to build up our ability to steward under the powerful guidance of our Lord.
Perhaps, you find yourself thinking, “How could this class help me? I don’t need it. It doesn’t interest me.” Instead of tuning out entirely during your least favorite class, I would challenge you to ask yourself, “What can I learn from the detriments or faulty reasoning of this ideal or concept? How can I improve myself to better combat said faulty reasoning? Do I have faulty reasoning for not being interested in this class, person, or thing?” Perhaps, you are required to take a general education course that is completely unrelated to your major of choice. Instead of discounting its importance due to its seeming lack of relevance, ask yourself, “Am I just meeting requirements to move on with my life? Or am I improving my stewardship so I can more effectively live for Christ without the isolating effects of self-interest?”
Instead of telling yourself a certain class isn’t beneficial because it’s unrelated to your major, try to see what the class is teaching you. Get creative and consider what you can learn from it in any way. If you decide the class holds no value for you, you’ll fail to seize the full potential of your stewardship. The goal of learning should be to increase your ability to steward. And you should aim to learn in every situation, even if it isn’t a graded assignment. Constantly ask God for the humility to admit your need for growth, rally forward and grow, and the Lord will increase your mastery of stewardship for His glory.