School is coming. That may be an awful thought to many of you, but it’s time to stop denying it and start preparing our minds and hearts for another year of academic work and perhaps, for people who attend a secular school, cultural battles.
I want to write a few school-related articles over the rest of August, covering topics like teachers, time management, and more. Today I want to start by looking at how we view school overall.
Many of you probably groaned at that first sentence up there, and that gets at an underlying problem in our culture today that I want to talk about.
School: A Great Privilege
God gave us our minds for a reason. He didn’t have to create us as people who crave knowledge and have an immense capacity for intelligence, but He did. God values knowledge.
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” -Proverbs 18:15
In fact, it is so important that we use our minds well that He included that in the greatest commandment.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind…” -Luke 10:27
Right up there with using our heart, soul, and strength to love God is using our mind as well. We are called to believe, not just because of emotions, but because of intelligence and reason.
Today, school has been turned into a chore, but it is actually a great privilege and duty of the Christian life. Around the world, so many kids don’t have the opportunity to attend school. They would be overjoyed to experience the life that we have every day, and yet we never stop to appreciate the fact that we have the resources and opportunity to learn.
Seek God in All Things
Learning to love school is easier said than done, that’s true. But for the Christian, a sure-fire way to get excited about everything you are learning about is to search for God in all of it. His creation expresses Him in so many ways every day:
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” -Psalm 19:1-2
There is always something new to learn or something to appreciate more about God in whatever we learn in school. If you go to a secular school, you may have to work a little harder, it’s true, but no matter what learning environment you are in, it will always be there. Creation itself can’t help but express God, no matter how much a secular worldview tries to hide it.
Here are some subject-by-subject ideas for how to do this.
Science: The Wonder of God’s World
Science is probably the most obvious one to start with. It is the study of how God’s world works, and let it open your eyes to the amazing universe He created. Take joy in learning the details of how it all works together. Skip over the evolution stuff. Be more and more awed by everything you discover in science class.
“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” -Psalm 139:14
Math: The Order of God’s World
God is a God of order, and nowhere is that expressed better than math. In math, everything always works together according to the rules. How could that have happened by chance? My mind was kinda blown when I first thought of this, and I really hate math, so maybe thinking about this will get you more excited about math class too!
“For God is not a God of confusion but of peace.” -1 Corinthians 14:33
History: God’s Great Plan Unfolds
No matter how much it is masked, our country and the world have such Christian influences in their past. In history class, take pleasure in learning about how God’s plan has unfolded throughout the ages and seeing how He has chosen certain pivotal people in every era to make changes for His glory.
“Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding…” -Daniel 2:20-21
English: Exploring and Defending Truth
English is essentially the study of communication, which is used to transmit ideas. In English class, focus on really thinking about each worldview you come in contact with and testing it according to the Bible. Then develop and express your own opinions boldly through writing.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” -Romans 12:2
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition…and not according to Christ.” -Colossians 2:8
Languages: Appreciating Other Cultures
The diversity of the human race is a beautiful thing. God loves all races in all corners of the earth, and through learning a foreign language you can connect with another part of the human race, both through the class itself and perhaps in that language’s use in the future. You never know when you might have an opportunity to witness to someone that you would have missed if you couldn’t speak their language.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” -Galatians 3:28
Arts: Expressing God’s Beauty
God is so creative; He gave us such a vibrant, wonderful world far beyond our basic needs. He bestowed that creativity on His children as well, and He gave us the potential to create incredible beauty through it. If you take a visual or performing arts class, focus on using your art to build up and express God’s wonderful beauty.
“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” -Genesis 1:27
“…and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship…” -Exodus 35:31
I hope this gave you some ideas for how to have a Godly mindset and learn to really appreciate and enjoy school and learning. I will definitely be trying to view things this way during the coming school year, and I hope you will too. I think this kind of mindset can radically change the way we think about our lives.
What do you think? Do you like school? Do you think you would like it better if you tried this? How do you see God in each of these school subjects? Tell me in the comments below!