Last week I stayed up studying for a test until 6 in the morning. Not because I’m obsessed with studying and getting straight A’s. Actually pretty far from it. I had to make up for my laziness and procrastination. I got 2.5 hours of sleep that night. I wish I could say this was uncommon.
But I also wish I could say it was uncommon for students to be running on several cups of coffee. I wish it was uncommon that I saw people attempting to cheat on tests and homework assignments just to get by. I wish it was uncommon for students to not care about school at all. I wish I could say it was uncommon that I saw my friends breaking down from being overwhelmed or from getting back a bad test. But this is the reality of our academic culture.
This blog contains the words I have to constantly remind myself of. These are the words I say to my tired and restless friend. These words are for you. These words are the truth.
Here are 5 things God wants you to remember when you’re studying:
1) Your worth is not dependent on how well you do academically.
Your worth is not dependent of a bunch of numbers divided into some percentage or one test you take on a Saturday. When we believe that our worthiness is based on this, we are failing to recognize our inherent dignity. Your worth is based on that you are a beloved and precious child of God. This is unalienable. Nothing can change that.
2) God made you incredibly intelligent.
Whether or not you recognize that, you are. Think about it. The dimensions and depths of the universe came together by God, an Intellectual Designer. Since you are created in the image and likeness of God, you are thereby intelligent. You have the amazing ability to reason and think. This is a gift. And we ought to discover and use our gifts to their full capacity.
3) You need to rest.
God actually commands us to rest. It’s not a suggestion. So many times throughout Sacred Scripture God speaks upon how vital it is to rest. God desires us to rest because it shows that we care about the mind and body He gave us. It also shows that we trust Him. It is trusting that God will take care of us. Whether or not you study for one more hour, the world will continue to go on. It will be okay. Trust that God will provide. “Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:26
4) Studying can and should glorify God
As Christians we are called to use our entire lives to glorify God. As a person who struggles with finding motivation, I can’t say to God, “This is for your glory God!” when I do the bare-minimum. Instead, we are all called to work joyfully with a desire to please God with the vocation He calls us to right now.
I have a friend who has a beautiful way of turning his studies into a prayer. He writes AMDG (Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam, for the greater glory of God) on the top of his papers and tests and says a prayer to offer up his hard work for a specific intention (ie: the unborn, salvation of souls, his family, etc.)
5) You are already known.
Sometimes, the desire to overwork ourselves comes from a place to be known, to standout, or to set ourselves apart. Some want to be valedictorian, in order to out do our friends. We want to go to a fancy college, so our family can praise us. We need to deeply understand the fact that we are already known. You are known by the King of Kings. You are incredibly valuable in eyes of God.
Not only does He knows you, He knows you entirely. This means He knows the full capacity of your gifts. He knows the details of the ten thousand things you feel like you have to remember. When you feel like no one understands you, He knows precisely how you feel. You don’t need to seek to be known, because you already are.
My brothers and sisters, this blog is for you and me when we need to be reminded how valuable, intelligent, and worthy we are. Remind yourself of these words again and again during finals weeks. And say these words again until they fit accordingly to your life. May your life be a living prayer that exclaims “For Your Glory! Everything I am, each one of my gifts, and all the good works that I do are Yours! This is for you, my God!”