Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
It's that time of year! The desksare emptied, the bookshelves cleaned, the last goodbyes have been said, and that report card is handed out. What is it like? Does it look like this?

Pretty lousy, eh? If that's what you think, look again. Jim got a + for attitude and effort. It's so typical for everyone to zero in on the letter grade!

I may shock you, being a teacher, by what I'll say. Report cards can be faulty if they are read wrong! Report cards are not meant to report everything about a child, neither are they intended to discourage anyone. They are simply a standard by which a teacher marks the work performed so that you and your parent(s) know how well you have met those standards. That's why attitude and effort are added to the report card. Jim worked hard and well.

Now, let's look at another report card.

How well did Jane do? Excellent, you say. An A! Yes, Jane met the standards of the work performed. But notice that her attitude and effort are fair. Another caution: we know nothing about who Jane is as a person. She could be a girl with many gifts in reading, but very clumsy in sports and have difficulty with math. She may be a snobbish girl who was disrespectful to her teachers.

Again, being a teacher, I may shock you by what I'll say next. Report cards can be a means of temptation. It may tempt a child with lower grades to become discouraged and lazy. It may also tempt a child with high grades to become proud and vain about his/her intelligence.

That's why it is so important, at this time of the year, to set the open Bible beside your report card. The wisdom found in God's Word, so needful to remember, is from Galatians 6:3-5:

For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone,and not in another.
For every man shall bear his own burden.

It is so easy, if you've received A's, to think you are better than another. You may have worked hard or have been blessed with many gifts. But God didn't create you to be boastful, but rather, to be humble for the gifts He gave you. The more you know, the more you should realize how little you know, compared to the majestic power and glory of God's universe and the character of God, which cannot be measured. Doing a small pile of work and reading a small pile of books makes no one an expert on anything. A person who thinks that way deceives himself.

There's a comfort too in the text. God calls everyone to examine his/her own work. A teacher cannot give a report on your heart. Did you work with a thankful spirit toward God for the opportunities He gave you this year? Did you do your best? No, God does not expect perfect work; He knows we are limited and we are sinners. He expects us to work with the goal to give honour and glory to His Name, by faith in Jesus Christ.

Don't look over your shoulder to read someone elseÕs report card. It is between the student and the Lord only. We are to be God-pleasing more than parent-pleasing, teacher-pleasing, or self-pleasing.

Finally, it's not the last day of school, but the Last Day, the Day of judgment that we must be concerned about. It is on that Day that we must answer before God what our desires, attitudes and efforts were in regard to the talents God gave us. God will reward those who were faithful with life everlasting, according to His mercies through Jesus Christ. Those who work with a proud heart and self-serving motives will fail and reap what they deserve.

Dear children, have a blessed summer. The world is vast and God is good. Desire to serve Him and live your life thankfully and obediently before Him.

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