You know those people, who never struggle to get high grades? Yeahh.. nah that’s not me. I didn’t really care about my studies. I still got decent marks - in my opinion anyways. But my parents thought otherwise. They kept on telling me that my 50 to 70 percents aren’t gonna get me a good job, and they liked to compare me to my friend, Melanie, who always gets high grades. Until now, they still do this and it ticks me off, but they do have a point. If I had continued going at my slow pace, I wouldn't have gotten as many future opportunities as I could.
I got fed up and took my anger out on Melanie and said, “Why are you trying so hard to get good grades all the time? After you leave school, graduate from uni, get a good job, what are you going to do next?” She came to me a while later and told me she had an answer to my question. Melanie told me that she was learning so she could be better equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to glorify God. She added that by learning about the world around us, we can see God’s existence, wisdom and power, through His creation.
This motivated me to study. However, I still felt pressure, especially from my parents, but also from myself to get a certain grade or job, which made me scared of failing. Our parents want us to do our best, and we still need to respect and listen to them. But in the end, our goal is to glorify God. Not to please ourselves or anyone else.
Like the parable of the talents in Matthews 25:13-40, the servants were each given a different number of talents. The first 2 worked hard to double what they were given, while the third was lazy. Like me, you might relate to the third servant who had less talents than the others. In reality, God has given each of us different amounts of talents in different things, so we can’t expect the same result from everyone. We study to develop our talents and reach our full potential, not to reach our own, or other people’s expectations. It doesn’t matter if we’ve been given 1, 2, or 5 talents, our responsibility is to put in all our efforts to grow our talents for God’s glory.
It’s so much easier said than done and I still struggle with expectations myself. There’s no definite solution for this problem. All I can say is that only God has the solution and we need to rely on Him while doing the best we can. He has a different plan for each of us that might not be what we or our parents expect. So, we need to trust God, through obedience, to guide us through His plan that He has for us.
One thing to remember, is that as Christians we’re called to be a living example of Christ to this world. If we’re lazy, people will see us and think “Why would I need a God, if I’m already doing better than these Christians?”. Through our actions, people can either be led towards or away from Christ. In Titus 2:7, Paul tells us to be an example to people around us. Our peers will look at our diligence and attitude to learning, so it’s important that we bear witness to Christ in all that we do.