Facing the idol of education

College students often slip into the sin of putting their grades above God

Every American student faces the reality that sacrifices must be made in order to maintain a good, or even passing, grade in college. For many Christian students, the first sacrifices to be made are usually regular church attendance, alone time with God or time spent at Bible study.

EDUCATION — Students should be wary of idolizing their grades and sacrificing their relationship with God. Google Images

EDUCATION — Students should be wary of idolizing their grades and sacrificing their relationship with God. Google Images

It starts out innocently enough. Skipping one Sunday, after all, is not that bad. However, as the skips continue to pile up, the God who loves and created each and every stressed-out college student is soon replaced by the very vengeful god of education.

The American dream is often defined by success, and the first step to success is getting a quality education. Therefore, passing those tests and writing those essays become the number one priority in the life of the average American college student.

According to The Gospel Coalition writer Chelsea Kingston, the idol of education is subtle yet dangerous to students and their families.

“Since it’s socially acceptable to pursue education at any cost, we’re not too bothered when the pursuit of academic achievement begins to rule our lives,” Kingston wrote. “We hardly notice when fellow Christians size up one another based on their alma mater — or even their children’s preschool.”

Education is a positive installation in Christians’ lives. Without it, there are several opportunities that God has placed before us that we would miss. However, when education becomes the most important thing in Christians’ lives, it becomes a dangerous idol.

Even students at Liberty University fall into the academic trap.

“The idol of academic achievement entices us with its promise to win success, to secure freedom, to help us be someone important,” Kingston wrote.

However, it is this enticement that destroys what is most important in a person’s life — a relationship with God and fellowship with other followers of Christ.

So what should Christian college students do to keep the education gods from taking over?

The key to maintaining a safe balance between education and God means taking a step back and evaluating what sacrifices really need to be made.

If honors or upper level classes are taking too much time, perhaps it is time to cut back. If homework on Sunday replaces church, getting up early to go to the first church service is always an option.

Making room for God in a hectic college schedule is not easy. However, in order to ascertain the most important things in life (and it is not school) it is critical that time for God be made.

Waking up early to read one chapter in the Bible or watching one less episode of Netflix to really talk to God can go a long way in getting back to what is most important.

Overcoming the academic obsession means encouraging students, whether in college or high school, to spend time outside of school to really engage in community with fellow believers. It means asking young people what they learned from their study of the Bible instead of what they did in math class. Because, as important as it is to talk about education, the most meaningful education comes from studying and discussing God’s Word.

The idol of education runs rampant, even in a strong, evangelical university. Do not prioritize academic success over having a relationship with the God of the universe.

Young is a opinion writer.

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