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[The principles illustrated here would be applicable
to any other class or subject,
although the specific application of those principles would vary.]
When I was in my early years of school, I used to claim that I hated English class. Of course, it wasn't always that bad, but I wouldn't necessarily let others know, when I found it a little bit enjoyable.
Later in life, I learned that I was to do all things in a way that brought glory and honor to God (1 Corinthians 10:31). The apostle Paul extended this phrase "all things" even to matters such as eating and drinking... so I was "forced" to consider the possibility that all things included English class. In college, as I began to look at the relationship between understanding the Bible and understanding language, I again found myself being "forced" to reconsider my views.
Over all, I concluded that, somehow, it must be possible to take English class in a way that brought glory and honor to God. This doesn't mean that I could approve of everything done in that class - especially if it was being taught by a person who openly and deliberately opposed the foundation of God's Word. But I could at least try to do my best, within the constraints of the circumstances.
That doesn't mean my attitude suddenly (and completely) turned around. This perspective had to grow. But it did begin to have a profound impact - at least in some aspects of the class. My writing assignments, for example, took on a new meaning. I found myself asking questions like, "How can I fulfil the objectives of this assignment in a way that is beneficial for the kingdom of God?" The work stopped being "a bunch of stupid assignments" and began to take on meaning. Furthermore, the class itself stopped being so "painful"! I actually benefitted from the class - at least a little bit!
I still don't understand some of the things they tried to teach me, such as the difference between a "verbal" and a gerbil. And probably, some of my English "ain't the best." But at the same time, I learned a lot about the need for accurate communication - and I learned (at least a little bit) how to do it. Some of the papers I wrote (after I changed my views about English class) are still accomplishing good - the information is still being used to benefit both myself and others.
Today, many years later, I am actually thankful for some of the things I learned in English class. The "pain and suffering" I went through was not a waste of time. Sure, there are some aspects of those classes that I do not necessarily like, to this day. And I think I would have been even more grateful, if I had reached the perspective of doing all for the glory of God, earlier in life. But overall, I would have to conclude that, amazing though it may be, God used even English class, to accomplish some good in my life!
Dennis Hinks © 2003