Wednesday, August 18, 2021

What's Holding You Back from Being the Student You Want to Be?

My Greek 2 class starts a week from Monday. Yes, you heard me right. For the first time ever we are teaching a second semester Greek class during the fall semester. I love it.

Students often have trouble negotiating a new semester. I know I did when I was in college and seminary. As I look back, there were several things that kept holding me back from doing the best job I could possibly do in school. Maybe you struggle in these areas too.

1. Sloth. Or you can call it laziness. 


A sloth. How did such a cute animal get such a bad reputation?

I am an expert in all things lazy. Born and bred in a culture that was extremely laid back, I grew up without the best sense of self-discipline. I've said this a billion times, but excelling in your studies has nothing to do with your upbringing. It is a decision you make. The moment you begin to rationalize about why you can get away with mediocrity is the moment you start down the slippery slope of getting a D (or worse) in class. I recall the days when seminary students focused on their schooling, and then sort of worked on the side. Now the focus is often on one's work/ministry, and school is something we tack on to everything else, almost as an afterthought. But if God has called you to study, shouldn't you make that a priority? No matter how inclined you are to sloth, sloth is something to overcome, not capitulate to.

2. Letting a poor start defeat you. The fact that I dropped out of beginning Greek after only 3 weeks was no excuse for me to give up. Listen, all of us have had lofty goals, only to see them come crashing down all around us. 


Who cares? Let your failures be a springboard to becoming a better you. The fall semester is an opportunity for all us to start afresh and anew. Forget the past. Run full speed ahead into the future.

3. The status quo. By that I mean thinking, "Well, pastor so-and-so doesn't seem to know Greek very well, and he does just fine. I guess I can just get by too." Listen, just because there's a lot of questionable exegesis out there doesn't excuse it. Don't let anybody (including yourself) rob you of the joy of knowing that you are being as faithful as you can to the Greek when you teach or write. You're better than the status quo. 

I constantly need to guard myself against becoming lazy, letting failure defeat me, and being satisfied with status quo thinking. We can all do better at this thing called exegesis.

Are you ever guilty of any of the above?