Thanksgiving break was great. There was free food, family who continually asked about your relationship status, and if you were lucky, some Black Friday shopping. Now you are back at school with only about two weeks left till Christmas break. But this also means only two more weeks left to bring your grades up. And one big test in each class that can easily ruin everything…no pressure right?
Your bank account is lower than your GPA… and you didn’t know that was even possible. You will soon be running on three hours of sleep and Starbucks while playing with numbers to see the lowest grade you can get on your final to pass.
However, I challenge you to stop.
Your mother may be reading this thinking, “STOP? Do not tell my baby to stop studying…”
For the record, I am not telling you to stop studying. I am challenging you to stop idolizing grades and sit at the feet of Jesus. I am challenging you to look at Christ for your worth, not your GPA. And most importantly, I am challenging you to breathe in and out, remembering everything from this world is temporary.
I’m currently a college student who is dreading these next couple of weeks. I want to simply be listening to Mariah Carey’s Christmas album while only worrying about running into an ex from back home. I do not want to be sitting in a desk with a scantron waiting for a teacher to pass out a test worth one-fourth of my semester grade.
However, to every student reading this—your grades do not define you.
Your worth is not defined by one test, or even a semester. Your worth is not defined by the number on the scantron or the letter on your paper. Your worth is not based upon one professor’s opinion of you or the multiple questions you have to ask in order to understand one basic concept.
Your worth will not be judged based on the day of your final exam, when your hand is shaking the number 2 pencil out of your hand, and you keep skipping each question until you find one you know for sure. Your worth was judged about 2000 years ago when a perfect man said I love you this much, stretching His arms out to accept you, only to have them nailed to the tree. Your worth was judged the day that a young grieving woman went to a grave and saw a stone rolled away and began to praise our King. Your worth was judged the day your Creator gave His Son to die for you, a Son who conquered the power of death.
I’m not telling you to drop out of school and pray 24/7. I’m not asking you to in the middle of the library during finals week yell, “JESUS LOVES YOU, REPENT.” I’m asking you to remember that when you get to the pearly gates, God will not ask, “hey so during you junior year of college in Spanish II, what was the grade on your final?” He is going to ask you how you used your gifts to glorify Him. He is going to ask you how you used the opportunity of education to further His Kingdom. He will want to hear how you loved Him, and what you believe about Him.
He is going to ask you if you would have been willing to stretch out your arms for Him, willing to give it all for His name.
So study hard, and use the opportunity you have to further your education for good. But remember, your identity comes from whose you are, not who you are.
Never forget Jimmy Johns delivers and is open late, and Whataburger is open 24 hours. Never forget you are more than your grade and sleep is important. You are going to make it, friend. So relax, drink caffeine, and remember this world is temporary but our Savior is eternal.
Think of Martha and Mary as they prepared for a day with the Lord. Martha was fixated on all the worldly preparations, while Mary was at the feet of Jesus worshiping His name.
Be a Mary this week. Don’t forget to worship at Jesus’s feet because finals are consuming you. Jesus deserves to be praised every day, even in the midst of finals. Jesus is eternal and your GPA is temporary.
“But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”– Luke 10:38-42