You’ve probably started school by now. I started this week; some of you have been in school for several weeks. And if you’ve been in school for a little while, you’re probably starting to worry about your grades.
I’m assuming it’s not just my high school where grades are one of the main conversation topics in the hallways, before class, and at lunch. Teenagers obsess over getting straight A’s and extra credit and being an honors student.
Let me clarify something: There is nothing wrong with trying to get good grades. In fact, we are called to do our best at everything. I’m not saying that being lazy and failing a class is okay. But there is a fine line between trying to do well and letting grades take over your life. And that’s when it becomes an idol.
Here are two truths to help you battle this dangerous obsession with grades:
1. Your grades do not determine your worth.
If you have a bad grade, that does not mean you are a bad person.
If you fail a class, that doesn’t mean you are a failure.
Like I talked about in Attention, Perfectionists!, your worth comes from the fact that you are a child of God. You are loved and accepted in all of your imperfection. Your grades are not who you are. They do not define you. You are defined by your faith. You are defined by being God’s child, not by whether or not you get A’s.
2. God is on your side, and He has everything under control.
God knows what grades you get in a class. He works everything for good, and you can trust that there is a reason you failed that Algebra class. Isn’t that comforting? If one door closes in your face, you can be sure that He will open another one. He is working all things for good.
And He is on your side! He wants what is best for you, even if you can’t understand things at the time. He is forming you into the person He wants you to be, and He is forming your life into the life He wants you to have. You will do the work He has for you later in life, whether or not you get good grades in high school. Trust in that.
So that’s that! Two things that you can remind yourself of when you let yourself get too stressed out over grades. Always remember that your grades are not what define you, and that God is working everything out for the best. Work hard, but don’t despair if you feel like you don’t measure up to those around you. You have worth, no matter what!