In just a few sort days, summer vacation will be over. The kids played all summer, some of them worked hard, and others traveled to camps and on vacation. For the first time in two months, the teenagers will wake up before lunch and children that arose early all summer will find it difficult to wake up for school. As school starts, we encourage them and help them do their best. Why do we do this? Why do we desire our kids to learn and why do we urge them to do their best? I want to give you two reasons for both students and teacher. First, learning is a gift from God. Second, everything we do, we do it for the glory of God.
I know there are some that view learning as torture, but it is a gift. Even Jesus grew in wisdom and stature (Luke 2:52). He learned to walk, learned to speak, and learned skills. In John 7:15, the Jews wondered how it was possible that Jesus could teach the things he did because they thought he was “unlearned.” Your mind was designed to think and be used for the glory of God. In Philippians 4:8 we are told to think about things that are worthy. Thinking implies learning. It is something we were created to do. Yes, these thoughts are to be centered on God, but they also include learning about God’s creation, communicating with each other, creative thinking, problem solving skills, and hard work. Learning is important and we encourage our children to do so, but it should also be an activity that we participate in as adults. We should all be learning.
Second, whether students or teachers this task is given to us to glorify God. This was the message of Paul in Colossians 3:17, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When we teach and when we learn, it is a moment given to us by God to do for his glory. That means if you teach, teach because you are representing God as you work. If you are the student, learn and do good work because you are representing God in the process. He deserves our best; therefore, we give him our best.
I encourage you as students, teachers, and lifelong teacher-students to develop the mind you were given by God and to do so for his glory. Do your best for his namesake. It is a gift and a task to which he called you.
This post was published in The Monitor of Naples, Texas on 8/18/16.