Serving One Master...
Today’s guest blogger is Nick Luken, a second-year student at The Ohio State University, majoring in English and minoring in professional writing. Nick graduated from Roger Bacon, a Franciscan high school in Cincinnati, in 2012.
I’ve always taken pride in my academics. I’ve been a straight-A student for most of my life, and I was known as “one of the smart kids” all through grade school and high school. Overall, I’d say that it’s good that I’ve always done well in my academic life, but sometimes my academic pride causes me problems, especially when I focus just on getting good grades rather than on learning new things.
I’ve been beating myself up over less-than-stellar grades a lot lately. For some reason, this semester has just been rough for me. I’ve had a hard time meeting my instructor’s expectations in my creative writing class, and I’ve turned in some assignments late for my American poetry class. Until this semester, I’ve had a near-perfect GPA, but now, I’m actually kind of close to failing one of my classes. I’ll still have a very strong overall GPA after this term, but it’s a huge blow to my pride that I’m almost failing a class.
But honestly, this blow to my pride is a good thing.
My academic performance this term has taught me an important lesson about myself: I put too much emphasis on getting good grades. Ordinarily, wanting to get good grades is a good thing, but I think that I took my desire for good grades too far this semester, and I didn’t respond to this desire properly. I wanted good grades, but I didn’t put that much effort into getting good grades. Additionally, I wanted these good grades so much that I felt like I would be worthless if I didn’t do well in school. It’s as if I was a slave to my desire to get good grades, and that wasn’t a good thing. I was treating academics like my master, but only God can be my master. As Jesus says in Luke 16:13, “You cannot serve God and mammon.”
I think that it’s important for all of us to remember that only God is our true master. It’s important for us to work hard and follow our desires for success, but work should never come before God.
Featured photo: utemov/Photoxpress.com