Study to Show Thyself Approved

For many of the children living in my area, school starts back today.  This morning, as I was reading Facebook, I couldn’t help but get a tear in my eye. So many mothers and grandmothers had posted pictures of their children patiently waiting for school busses dressed in their “first-day-of-school” apparel as well as accolades of well wishes for a great school year ahead; me included.

This year, I have three grandchildren in high school, one in the eleventh and two starting in the ninth grade; three in middle school, one in the seventh and two in the sixth; and one still in elementary in the third grade.  My oldest grandson graduated last May, and the youngest is only four months old, so she has a tad bit to go before entering school!

But, this morning, I am strongly reminded of two very important scriptures found in the Bible,  “Study to show thyself approved,” (II Timothy 2:15), and “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” (Colossians 3:23).

Any Bible student will quickly tell you that II Timothy 2:15 is dealing with the Word of God; the Bible, and how to rightly divide (analyze) the Word of God through intense and fervent study.  But, as a retired school teacher, I can also apply the, “Study to show thyself approved,” to academics, as well.  When returning graded papers back to my students, those students receiving a grade of 80 or higher would always smile and not be ashamed to show their passing score to the students sitting around them.  However, as I handed back a failing score, the student would nearly always crumple up the paper quickly placing it into their backpack, or hang their head down feeling badly or embarrassed.  Under this sad circumstance, there was typically no smiling nor wishing to share their grade with others.  Therefore,  I believe that, “Study to show thyself approved,” can rightly fit into lots of areas within our lives.

Next, I am reminded of the scripture, “And, whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…” I am afraid that we all fail in this area at times; I know I do.  The Apostle Paul is instructing Christians living in Colosse at the time that no matter what they do, do it as unto the Lord. In other words, he is telling them to be an example to the world in their daily goings and doings; chores or tasks.  Wow! How badly this Biblical instruction is needed in our today’s society. What a difference our lives would be if Christians everywhere performed their daily tasks as unto the Lord!! I believe we could turn this old world around through our conduct and actions, if we did everything as if we were doing it for none other than the Lord of Hosts and King of Kings! This particular scripture is also one of my oldest daughter’s favorites.  She has it displayed at her job reminding her that she is not only “working” for her employer, but she is “working” for God.  And, it shows in her work performance as Jury Administrator for State Court.  I am very proud of her and my other two daughters for their strong work ethics and morals.  They really do apply this scripture in their lives.

Today, I feel that we all need to be reminded that we are “working” for the Lord in “all” and  everything we do.  I believe this goal and mindset should be applied in everything, including our household chores, how we handle our finances, how we treat our friends and peers, how we treat one another, and how we conduct ourselves in business, and how we conduct ourselves in our actions and deeds; do it as unto the Lord.  Even when others are NOT watching!   I once had a poster that I made hanging in my classroom.  It read, “Good Character is Doing what is Right when NO ONE is Looking.”  I believe that when we learn to discipline ourselves in private, we will be able to discipline ourselves in the public’s eye, as well.  “Do all as unto the Lord.”

What a difference these two scriptures can make in our lives (and within our society) when they are purposely and properly applied for the Honor and Glory of God.  Today, I hope we can all work harder to study more in all things; especially our Bibles, and work harder to “do all” things as unto the Lord.  I believe if a child is brought up in the admonition of the Lord, applying these two scriptures, he or she will see many accomplishments, achievements, and successes within their lives.  I also believe that we, as adults, will be able to see more and added accomplishments and successes within our own lives if we, too, apply these scriptures.  Amen.

This is a new school year for our students, teachers, administrators, support staff, and parents.  Why not start the year off right with the attitude and mindset to, “Study to show thyself approved,” and “Do all as unto the Lord.”  If we do this, I believe the 2011/2012 school year will be a great success.  May each of you have a blessed school year in the Lord.

Remember, God Loves You,

Lin T. Rollins, Author

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