If the challenges of getting an education are beginning to pile up, it may be tempting to ask, "Why bother?" But there are sound reasons for seeking education. Many of us can quickly come up with several usually accepted ones: opening up career opportunities, fulfilling a desire for greater knowledge, aiming for better income potential.
There can be still more. Whether knowledge is provided by formal schooling, on-the-job training, or personal study, pursuing an education can result in breaking through limitations, stretching thought, even growing spiritually.
God sustains and supports our educational progress. When we turn humbly to Him in prayer, we open the way to freer and more joyful training and study. Our motive can be to use education as an opportunity to glorify God rather than merely for self-interest. In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ Jesus admonished, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." n1
n1 Matthew 5:16.
With humility and purer motives, we are prepared to deal with and gain from the challenges that education presents.
The Bible gives the basis for understanding God as Mind, the source of intelligence. But if we think of ourselves as either stupid or smart, and feel that the blame or credit lies in our brain or background, we're assuming that a finite, personal mind -- rather than divine Mind -- is the source of intelligence. We're saying that intelligence (high or low) is controlled by material conditions, by a mortal mind.
Like many of the Bible characters, we can prove that God's presence is a powerful aid in overcoming this limited or egotistical concept of intelligence. We may need to deal with self-doubt, for instance, as did Moses when he felt impelled by God to lead the children of Israel out of slavery in Egypt. He objected in many ways, among them: "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech , and of a slow tongue."
He too needed to learn that mortal intelligence isn't in charge of a situation; God is. And that's apparently the response he heard, since the account goes on to say: "And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? . . . Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say." n2 God is an ever-available, everloving Father.
n2 Exodus 4:10 -- 12.
What about the challenge of competition? It clearly doesn't help our composure if we approach training or study with the thought that there's room in the world just for super-achievers, so we'd better make the grade.
Because we are in reality God's childdren -- spiritual ideas harmoniously related to Mind -- our actual identity doesn't include conflict or competition. We all have unlimited good from God. As the Bible assures us, "God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." n3
n3 II Timothy 1:7.
So we can seek to express the intelligence that comes to man in abundance from God. We don't have to "wipe out" our neighbor with our superior skill nor curl up in self-defeat. As we discover Mind to be our real intelligence, we'll neither cringe before competition nor require it to make us work harder.
Then there's the need for extra energy and endurance. Nothing will deplete us faster than thinking our abilities come from a mortal selfhood. Paul put the answer to this succinctly when he wrote to the Corinthians, "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God." n4
n4 II Corinthians 3:5.
Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered and founded christian Science, states in the Christian Science textbook: "Academics of the right sort are requisite.Observation, invention, study, and original thought are expansive and should promote the growth of mortal mind out of itself, out of all that is mortal." n5
n5 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 195.
When education is approached with this attitude, we learn not only about the subject we are studying but also about God and His constant care for us. DAILY BIBLE VERSE . . . with one mind and one mouth glorify God. Romans 15:6