For the last few weeks and for several more weeks into June our students are taking all kinds of tests: IB exams, mock IB exams, AP tests, MAP tests, SAT, and the list goes on. While we want our kids to take them seriously and to do their best, we need to be so careful that their scores don’t define them. In this mad world of academics, a single score on an important exam can provide acceptance into a certain college or entrance into an honors program. When God looks down on us, He doesn’t see us as a number or a grade. He sees us as a much-loved person whom He created to have a relationship with Him.
David Welsh, the director of the International Christian School of Budapest, addressed the international Christian school leaders in the UK last week. He has been serving in Budapest for the last 15 years, and next year will be his last. He had a challenge for all of the overachievers in the audience. He said: “Even if I never have another productive day ever, God loves me just as much.” As an overachiever in the company of many others, I tend to want to equate my worth with what I am able to accomplish. I know that there will come a day, probably sooner than later, when I will no longer be able to keep up the pace and accomplish what I am able to do now. To be honest, it kind of scares me that I may need to rely on others to take care of me as I age. I sometimes find it difficult to accept that even if I get to the point where I can no longer “do” for God, that doesn’t matter to Him. He simply wants me to “be” His child.
I had just finished writing this article, when I went to high school chapel. Teacher, Lukas Marsak, was speaking on the very same topic! He encouraged the students to not get their identity from what others think of them or determine their value by what they look like or can do. During this high-stakes time of year with courses coming to a close, my prayer for our students is that they will be able to really understand that God’s grace and love extends to all areas of their lives. He really loves them no matter what they are able to do. As we head into the season of awards assemblies and graduations, may we be mindful to give God the glory for the gifts He has given to our students. And may we be continually reminded that God created us simply to love us. We do not have to do anything to merit His love. It is completely unconditional.
“The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good, but that God will make us good because He loves us.” – C.S. Lewis
Because of His Faithfulness,
Sharon Brobst, Ed.D.