Honouring God in Our Studies

As Christians, it is our chief duty and privilege to honour and glorify God in everything that we do as stated in 1 Corinthians 10:31: “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” In the Lord’s Prayer Christ has taught us (Matthew 6:9-13) in the first petition – “Hallowed be Thy name”. This petition teaches us to ask for the right to “sanctify, glorify and praise” God not only in all His works, but also to “use our whole lives, our thoughts, words and actions” to honour and praise God’s name (LD47, QA122). Therefore, the principal purpose of our studies must be to bring honour and glory to God through them.

With all this said, how exactly do we honour God in our studies? We honour God in our studies, first, by giving our best in all that we do. Giving your best does not mean doing well in all the subjects. It does not mean praying to God for good grades with the excuse: If God gives me good grades, I will be able to glorify Him. Giving your best means to be faithful and to use the talents God has given each and every one of us to serve Him. In the parable of the talents, the lord praised the two servants who gained more talents with the talents he had given them and called the servant who hid his talent in the earth “wicked and slothful”. The wicked and slothful servant’s talent was then taken away and given to one of the servants who had gained talents. (Matthew 25:14-30) This teaches us that if we do not properly use our talents and gifts to the best of our ability, we will be judged and held responsible for that. It does not matter if we do not do well. If we have given our best, it is our best and we should be content with it.

Second, we can honour God in our studies by being content with whatever he gives us. Some of us think that we can glorify God with what we achieve. However, that is denying God’s glory by trying to control what we can glorify Him with. We should instead trust in Him to give us what we deserve, and even if the results are different and opposite from what we expected, we must still be satisfied with them. Nevertheless, this does not mean that we simply sit back and slack off, and then be content with our results as mentioned in the previous point.

Last, we can honour God in our studies by separating ourselves from the world, namely, the unbelieving students. We Christians are called to live a “holy and spiritual life separate from the world”. This does not mean “living along with the world in its lusts” or “seeking to flee the world in the physical and local sense of the word” (Bekkering, 1983). Some ‘worldly’ people chase after academic success so that it becomes the most important thing to them in life. We cannot and must not follow these people. Yes, we can and ought to treat our studies as an important thing in our lives. But prioritising our studies too much leaves us at a risk that we might possibly regard our studies as more important than God. This is, in fact, idolatry! “To seek and accumulate earthly treasure (possessions) out of these (evil) motives is to make an idol god of them” (Slopsema, 2015). However, we also should not run away from studying. Instead, we should seek to honour God with our studies. By separating ourselves from the world, we set ourselves as clear examples for the unbelievers to see. We witness to them with our behaviour the glory of God. “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

What then, is the blessedness of honouring God in our lives? If we seek God, His glory and His heavenly things, we receive “the reward of grace”. This reward comprises of “the Father Himself ”, “grace for the good fight of faith” and “the new earth” (Ophoff, 1951). God gives us Himself and the strength to fight against the world. “For they who honour the Father, the Father will honour” (Ophoff, 1951). We must learn to honour God in our studies!

Bekkering, Wayne (1983), Separation of Isolation, Standard Bearer, Retrieved from http://standardbearer.rfpa.org/ node/38249.

Slopsema, James D (2015), Treasures of Wickedness, Standard Bearer, Retrieved from http://standardbearer.rfpa.org/ articles/treasures-wickedness

Ophoff, Praying to the Father, Standard Bearer, Retrieved from http://sb.rfpa. org/articles/praying-father

Written by:  Chang Zi Hui | Issue 39