In the Bible, we are often called to glorify God. In fact, we were created by God to do just that – glorify Him. This can be shown from Isaiah 43:7. “Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” Yet, we often find ourselves struggling to do so. How do we glorify God? Specifically, how do we glorify God in our studies, something which we find ourselves spending so much time on.
Some people might ask if it is even possible to glorify God in their studies. After all, it is one thing that shifts so much attention away from God Himself and has often led Christians to backslide and turn away from Him. Fear not, because in the Bible, we are told that we can. 1 Corinthians 10:31 reads “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” Everything we do now is part of God’s plan. He has called us to be students here on earth and since we are to glorify Him in everything we do, it is our calling especially to glorify God in our studies.
First of all, what does it mean to glorify God? To glorify God is to bring Him honour in whatever we say, do or think. This is very important. When we talk about studying, we often think about school. The way we act in school is vital in glorifying God. At all times, we should put on a good godly Christian example as we are witnesses for Christ. When we speak to our friends, do we speak the way the ungodly do by cursing andusing God’s name in vain? (Psalms 34:13) When we talk to teachers, do we do so with respect? (Rom 13:1-3) When people look at us, do they see something different – in a good way – in us? By setting ourselves apart from the rest of the world (Rom 12:2), people will wonder how it is that we are that way and from there we can teach them more about the Bible and even bring that person to church. By acting the way God wants us to, we bring glory to Him as well.
As we sit down at our desks to do our homework or study for a test, what kind of attitude do we have? Do we grumble and dread it, wishing we could be on the internet or watching television instead? The Lord tells us that there is a time for everything (Ecc 3:1) and that no matter what we do, we have to give our best as a way of serving God and glorifying Him (Col 3:23). When we study hard and do well, we get praised by our teachers and friends and at that time, we can accredit God for our good results. When we study, we should always have the mindset of bringing glory to God’s name, not ours. Therefore, a good way to start before studying is to pray to God, asking for wisdom and strength (Col 1:9) to help us in our studies while glorifying Him at the same time.
Last but not least, we must always check to make sure that our studies are not stealing time from God as this is something that many of us do. Our studies should not take up so much time that we do not do our daily devotions and spend personal time with Him every day. It is also important that we do not allow our studies to prevent us from going to church both physically and spiritually. Recently, there has been an emergence of internet churches. We must not think that attending internet services can substitute going to an actual church so that we can use the time saved from travelling to study instead. It is important to listen to God’s word in His temple because that is where we can find Him (Hab 2:20) and where we are able to engage in good Christian fellowship to gain encouragement for our spiritual lives (Heb 10:25). It is even more important to fully concentrate and listen to what the pastor is saying and the lyrics to the songs which are singing. If we are physically in church but our heart is somewhere else, worrying about our studies then there is no use in going to church for attendance sake. If we find ourselves spending too much time on our studies, perhaps it is time to take a step back and re-prioritise by putting God first once again.
Ending off, I would just like to remind everyone that glorifying God in your studies is important because, glorifying God after all, is our “primary purpose” as described in the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
Written by: Koh Hui Yi | Issue 2