9. Don’t be afraid to be known as a fanatical Christ-follower
Don’t be afraid of non-Christians thinking you’re stupid for believing in God and His divine Son Jesus Christ, and for talking about Him in public (as opposed to the common attitude of ‘you can hold whatever religious beliefs you want, as long as you hold them privately’). We talk about other aspects of our lives that are important to us. . . . Why not God? Whose opinion and approval matters most? Whose opinion will we be concerned more about 1 million years from today? I have learned how much I need to grow in this area. “Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels” (Luke 9:26).
10. Work as if God were my boss
“[Grad students], be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free.” Eph. 6:5-8
This is extremely difficult for me. I’ve been learning that this applies whether my experiments are working or not, whether my friends and colleagues are working this way or not, whether my boss is watching or not. Working for the Lord Jesus Christ is a self-explanatory concept, but so difficult to do. However, by His grace I will be able (and when I fail, repent and get back on track). The coming reward (living with Him) is great beyond reckoning.
One very nice side benefit of this attitude is that it makes it much easier to work on “futile” projects, in which the project or documentation or line of experimentation seems pointless or certain to fail. It might indeed end up being useless for my career, but the time/energy/work will not be ultimately ‘wasted’, because Jesus is watching and He will reward me for my work “as unto Him” after this earthly life is done.
11. Rely fully on God’s promises
God always keeps His promises. I’ve been learning that I need to explicitly rely 100% on God’s promises, when problems or worries arrive. He has made a lot of promises. . . such as the fact that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28), and so many more (Phil. 4:6, Ps 37:4, Prov. 3:5-6, Heb. 13:5, etc). Worrying, though a ‘natural’ response, is not the correct, faithful, God-pleasing response. Instead, I need to trust God!
Click here for Part 4 of 13 Ways of Looking at Graduate School
Updated 4/5/2012. 4:53 PM.