Happy finals week!
This week probably isn’t going to be the most fun one of the semester. Finals week is a time to cram, stay up way too late, and finish those projects that probably should have been finished a long time ago.
On Sunday night, Randy said something that has stuck with me that I think might help take some of the pressure out of finals week. His sermon was based on the idea that God can and will work through us no matter how impressive, smart, talented, or good-looking we might be.
Right now, there’s probably a LOT of pressure on you to succeed and to be excellent in your studies. Maybe you feel pressure to be impressive, talented, smart, and good-looking from your parents, your friends, your professors … The list goes on.
God Himself calls for excellence from His people, yet He does so in a way that doesn’t crush us under the pressure of unbearable standards of excellence.
Back to Randy’s lesson. While making a point about the kind of excellence that we are to have as God’s followers, he read our theme verse for the year: “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that form the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ” (Col 3:23-24).
Paul encouraged the Colossian servants to work hard and with excellence for God, not their masters. God knows us better than we know ourselves. God knows our abilities. God knows when we give effort and when we don’t. Your parents, friends, professors, and others may look at what’s on the outside (like grades, physical appearance, popularity, etc…) but God looks at your heart. Work excellently for Him.
As Randy taught in his lesson, we can sometimes fake humility and say, “God can’t use me, I’m not smart enough or ‘excellent’ enough.” Like Randy said, that’s not humility - it’s blasphemy. So, finally, here’s that quote that got me thinking:
“[Our excellence] is less about our own responsibility and more about our response to God’s ability.”
So this week, as you struggle to survive those finals and the final projects, remember that your charge to “work excellently” for God is not meant to crush you under impossible standards. It’s a call to allow God’s excellence to be shown through you. God alone is truly excellent in the fullest sense of the word. Let’s start thinking of our excellence in terms of a response to the ability that God has to use each of us for His purposes.
Much like David stepping onto the field to fight Goliath, you might find more success and confidence when you allow God’s excellence and ability to work through you instead of banking on your own excellence and ability.
Kana and I will be praying for you guys this week.
Happy finals week,