All members of our core team here at CWL share one thing in common when it comes to our phase in life: College.

Kristina, Mel, Hailee, and I are all studying away, even if at very different paces; from getting ready to graduate, to me not yet having declared a major. As most of you know and are likely going through now, finals are again upon us, which usually means stress and multiple-mini panic sessions. This time we’re spending together, I am not, as you might have suspected, going to talk about those stresses or panic, no I would like in these next brief moments together to discuss and reflect something that is breaking my heart: our striving for a pass.

This week I sat in the photography lab, studying for finals and contemplating exactly what needed to be said on our blog this week. When all of a sudden, my eavesdropping picks up the discussion of how “without google I’d never pass this class” followed by agreement from the others studying around the table. The discussion of how there was mutual “I don’t care, I just want the semester to be done” was agreed upon by almost everyone in the room. I, who was once compared to Peter, prior to Christ’s resurrection (only in the sense of never keeping my mouth shut, and needing to think before speaking), did not execute my silent tongue, and instead chimed in. There began a discussion where I stood up from my chair, and started charging everyone in the room to put forth their full effort. After all, we were paying $1,000’s of dollars for those classes and this education; it’s so much more than a piece of paper, and we need to value ourselves enough not to cheat. I could have been calming about my stance on using quizzlet or googling answers during an online class, but I wasn’t, I realized it infuriated me.

This mornings reflection, I remembered I had a similar conversation only a few weeks ago, where again the thought that college was just about “getting a piece of paper” ruled the room.

My mind goes to two places in the scriptures, and I genuinely believe, there is no such thing as a cliche bible verse, truth is truth, and if it’s well-known, all the better.

Colossians 3:22-23

Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Again we read:

“not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart… work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,” 

Do not put forth full effort simply so others take note of you working hard! No, work hard in all you do with full effort, because the truth and effort for the Lord our God urges and implores you to do so.

The second place we’re lead is

1 Corinthians 10:31

31 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD! Now, I am not saying I have never cheated, I’d be willing to bet 99% of college + high school students have; but just because it takes place so often does not make it okay, and is not justification for the heart behind those actions. The stress of finals may wear down, and you may want that A so bad that you justify looking up an answer here, or there, but at what cost?

At what point does it become unacceptable, if not from the very beginning. Behind the stress and urge to tarnish the integrity and standard you hold yourself to, there is a heart that thinks lying is worth a better grade; and it isn’t you are worth more than that. Even more, if it is just a sheet of paper you don’t care about, why is it your pursuit? If you do not hold value in your actions, then you change them and in that give you 100%.

I genuinely, truly, with my whole heart believe that getting a C or even an F in a class where you tried your hardest, and were pure in your intentions and efforts, is of better character than getting an A you did not deserve or work for.

We are members of a generation that seems to fear hard work, because our parents made life (comparatively) easy for us, working hard so that we wouldn’t have to, but it seems to have turned into so much more than that. When we think of hard work, we have a distain, a distaste, and we instead look to lesser quality shortcuts through life. I know I do.

As we near the end, I urge you not to feel bad, or sad or angry at what is written, but to be inspired this week to study hard, pray harder, and in all you do, from your laundry, to your job, and all other tasks you may encounter, to pursue outlets you can work hard, think hard, and give your 100%, for in our actions we can praise the Lord, and make worship out of all we do. And that is a gift we are unworthy of having.

You are loved, and you are worth the work,

Margaret + Crowned Crew