My decades in campus ministry have allowed to meet a lot of male and female college students who are motivated, talented, ambitious, and “going somewhere.” I have also met students who struggled to get going, even though they made it to college. Some of them struggled with low self-esteem, failing confidence due to various circumstances, few mentors, and worst of the worst, a non-supportive parental and/or family system.
Here is a sample conversation I had with a student who represents some young people I have had a chance to work with:
“How is your class work going?” I asked. “Fine, except I am behind again because I work slow,” replied Jason (not his real name). “Why do you believe you are slow?” I replied. “Some of my projects just take more time than others and I have a hard time planning out my homework to keep everything on track. I guess I was just born slow and I’m stuck.”
“How have you kept up with your school work since being here?” I inquired. “This is your second year on campus so I assume you’ve learned how to manage your homework better since last year?”
“Well,” Jason responded, “I’ve been slow since high school and I guess I just learned to accept it. I mean, my parents never pushed me much when it came to homework.” I replied, “There is nothing wrong with being thorough if it takes you longer to do your work.” Jason said, “I’m not sure about accuracy, but I didn’t choose to be slow.”
I added, “I didn’t say you chose it, but it apparently has become a habit that you learned and become comfortable with.” Jason raised his voice, “Well, yesterday I spent two hours looking for the perfect illustration for an introduction to a paper, only to change my mind at one o’clock in the morning that it didn’t need to be perfect!” “Good for you,” I responded. “It sounds like that is a good step for you.”
“I hope so,” said, Jason. “I need to spend less time thinking about how some homework starts, and more about how to finish it up with the best I can do. I need to change.”
Read 2 Corinthians 13.
Jason and I agreed neither of us is perfect and won’t be until we reach heaven. Yet that doesn’t mean we should be content in our imperfection. In the 2 Corinthians text, the apostle Paul said to “aim for perfection” (verse 11). He said in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 to remember that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God. He added that all of us were wicked in God’s eyes, but due to our acceptance of the work of Christ on the cross, some of us were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Spirit.
Let’s face it. It’s easy to make excuses rather than to face the reality of our lives and change. What sins and bad habits do you excuse rather than confess and forego? In what ways do you limit God’s intervention and power in your life by telling Him what you can’t or won’t do? Walk wisely. When it comes to living for Jesus, aim high. You can change because God is for you. Rely on His resources as opposed to only your own.
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz