WHY DO I EVEN HAVE TO GO TO SCHOOL??
Most of you will be in school for the better part of 13 years, from age 5 to 18. It seems like school starts out as fun but then turns out to be a long, boring, chore, filled with tests on stuff you will never use. Even my 5 year old son Joshua is excited to start school and tells me almost daily that he’s “finished his homework”, granted his homework is coloring in his coloring book with his favorite crayons (most of which have been karate-chopped in half). But the point is that education was started for a reason. Did you know that the very word educate came from the latin word educae which means “to draw out”. Education was originally designed to work out the potential inside of you. If school seems challenging sometimes, well, that’s because it’s meant to be, in order for you to become better. The purpose is to draw out the gift, intelligence, and character inside of you that is necessary for you to succeed in life. When you have to do homework that you don’t want to do, you don’t care about, and you don’t even understand, there are a valuable traits being instilled inside of you: character, discipline, and perseverance - not to mention the actual learning that takes place. It takes courage to stay in school, and try your best.
Interesting info > Formal education in the USA was originated with the Bible as the primary textbook. Even the 1828 Webster’s dictionary was compiled by Noah Webster so the words in the Bible would hold the same meaning for everyone. Webster considered education useless without the Bible. So the school system started with the Bible as the foundation, making it all the more ironic that they have pushed it out of schools.
I've had many teens come to me for prayer so God could help them with their grades, under false assumptions…let me help you out here: God is NOT going to do all the work for you. Simple. Grades are not God’s responsibility, they are yours. God’s responsibility is to make good on all the 6,000+ promises that He has promised us in his Word. My motto: don’t pray and walk away. Pray with the intention of engaging the process.
NOW THE HELP! PART
Back to the topic at hand: HELP me with my grades! The Bible says that we have “the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16). We have a mental capacity that is far bigger than we can imagine, so don’t EVER say that you can’t or that you are not smart enough. That's a lie. You are smart enough because God made you, and you have his DNA! (Genesis 1:26) So after encouraging countless other youth with their grades, I have developed a 4 step approach. This is how you engage the process:
- Ask for wisdom and guidance - God makes it clear in His Word what we should do in James 1:5 “If any of you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and He will give it to you..” (NLT). He also says that we are not to trust in our own understanding, but that we should trust Him to direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). It also says in John 14:26 that the Holy Spirit inside of us will teach us things and bring things to our remembrance. So say this out loud: Heavenly Father, I ask you today to give me wisdom and guidance on how to improve my grades. I need your help to do this. I can’t do it in my own power, but with your help I can do all things. Send along the right people to encourage me. I ask that you give me strength, courage, discipline, and a perfect strategy for me to get excellent grades. I thank you for it now Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!
- Make a plan to on how you will do better - Now this is when you make the plan real. Whatever God gives you in your heart, write it down. God might lead you to certain people, teachers or mentors to assist you in this process. God might lead you to an online resource. Get with your parents as they might have insight. Make a list of things that you can do to improve your grades. How to study, doing your homework, when to do it, time management, etc. Now put them in a top 10 priority list and start at #1. At the top of that list, write the grades that you want for each individual class. This will take some work, but it is well worth it! (James 2:26 > Faith + works = good grades)
- Change your image and by faith decree that you are an excellent student - This can actually be one of the most crucial steps because this deals with a sensitive topic, your self-esteem AKA how you view yourself. I have found that one of the MOST common obstacles to getting good grades is that a teen simply doesn’t see themselves as “smart”. Let me ask a question: if Lebron James had a few bad basketball games, would you consider him a terrible basketball player? Of course NOT! That would be silly to base your opinion of him on a few bad nights. It’s silly of you to form an opinion of yourself based on a few bad grades. Receiving bad grades doesn’t mean your not intelligent, it just means you’re not trying yet. When you start viewing yourself as intelligent, regardless or what others say or think, you will believe it over time, even if it seems weird at first. To change your inner image starts with the Word of God: 1 Cor. 2:16 “I have the mind of Christ..” - Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengths me.” - Ps. 139:14 “I am fearfully and wonderfully made..” This list can go on and on. But it is important that you meditate these scriptures. It’s a good idea to memorize these scriptures and say them out loud daily. This might seem unnecessary. You might say “it doesn’t take all that”. But THIS has been the difference between success or failure for MANY teens academically.
- Eliminate all distractions - It says in John 10:10 - "the thief comes to steal...” We have to refuse to let anything steal our time. Time is one of the most valuable assets that we have on this earth because we can’t get it back. When it’s gone, it gone. So use it wisely. In a lot of cases, grades are just a reflection of the time and energy that you put in to them. Quick Test: how long do you have to study to get an F? If you said no time at all then you passed the test! (Whoooo Hooo, a passing grade!) Aannnnd that’s my point. It takes time and attention to get good grades. Sometimes you will have to put your phone, text, IG or Kik conversation on pause so you can focus. Every now and then you will have to choose not to go hang out . You will have to turn the TV or music off. You might even have to stay after school (by choice??…ouch!), to get some extra help from a teacher. When friends say come hang out with us, remember this: You have to live with these grades, not them. These grades are on your transcript, not theirs. You want to be accepted into a good college, possibly not them. This is your future, not theirs, so don’t let their opinions hijack your progression towards your dream of success. (<< you should probably tweet, IG, or Fb post that last one though)