Summer is over and another school year has begun. As students head into the next nine months of classes, homework, sports, music, and everything else that fills up their busy schedules, they ought to be careful of how they fill up their minds. Matthew 22:37 calls everyone to
“‘love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with ALL your MIND.’” (added emphasis)
The last part of the verse focuses on honoring God with the mind. One of the many ways Christians can do this is to have a biblical approach to school. Colossians 3:23 says,
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.”
How does this apply to school? Even though teachers assign the homework, all work comes from God, and school definitely qualifies as work. This verse applies to every student, but not to every student in the same way.
Some students may struggle with procrastination and laziness, and it feels strenuous to work diligently on school when there are other things distracting their minds. However, if people do put in the extra effort to stay focused and to not put things off, then God will reward them:
“The soul of the sluggard craves and gets nothing, while the soul of the diligent is richly supplied” (Proverbs 13:4).
There may also be students who struggle with discouragement because no matter how diligently they work, there always seems to be more to do. The Bible teaches that everything that comes from God must be good, and since work comes from God, it is good. Therefore, if school qualifies as a form of work, it must be a good thing, and there is nothing that God calls his children to do that He will not help us to persevere through:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
Not all students fit into these two demographics, but God does call all of his people, whether they struggle with procrastination, discouragement, or other obstacles, to work hard for Him.
However, school is not the only way students can honor God with their mind– the human brain is capable of holding and learning vast amounts of information, around one million gigabytes worth, while a typical computer only has four, so students can also honor God by choosing to let their thoughts dwell on things that are glorifying to Him. Philippians 4:8 tells us,
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
God has provided a huge amount of this world that is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. He does not withhold anything good from those who love and honor Him. The world may seek to convince God’s children otherwise, that His Word represents a list of “do nots.” However, a God-oriented perspective trains people’s minds to see as God sees, and there is much that God has ordained to bring Himself praise.
The summer is over, and the school year begins. Students can now head towards the next nine months thinking about how they can honor God with all of their heart, soul, and mind. The mind presents a keen opportunity for students to lean into God’s creation by seeking to use their minds well, both to enjoy God and glorify Him by how they approach the new school year.