It’s almost the end of the school year. You might have kids and grandkids in school. Some of you are probably in school, working on a degree. And some, like myself, are teachers. Whichever the case, grades are on the way!
Have you ever considered your “spiritual” grades? This isn’t meant to pat yourself on the back with your A+ achievement or become discouraged in the areas you think might be F’s. (I still haven’t gotten over that D I got in high school geometry!) It’s just an idea to reflect on those areas you’ve learned or grown in this year. I remember the simple old days, when kindergarteners got grades of S for satisfactory, and NI for needs improvement.
Your grades would probably be different than mine. But how would you grade yourself through spiritual eyes?
Resilience. God’s walked me through some pretty daunting circumstances this year. I have floundered and fallen at times, but each challenging experience we conquer, with God’s help, builds more resilience. This grade is satisfactory.
Compassion. When you do endure some sort of suffering, you amazingly become way more sensitive and compassionate towards others who have gone through the same thing, or will go through it. I’ve been the recipient of great compassion as well, from family, friends, and others. Particularly when going through some sort of health challenge, I’ve learned there are compassionate medical professionals, while there are others who treat patients as numbers, unfortunately. Let me never treat others as just a number. This grade is in progress.
Humility. This grade needs improvement! Receiving unsolicited advice, unkind comments, nosy comments or questions, requires a lot of grace and patience, along with a dose of diplomacy. Boy, is this not my strong suit. Boy, does God have His work cut out for me. People are fallible. I am fallible. In my case, I got misdiagnosed for a side effect and given the wrong prescriptions (this happened to me twice!!) This needed to be rectified, and it takes courage to speak up, advocate for yourself, and still remain graceful.
Surrender. This final grade, possibly, is moving from needs improvement to satisfactory. I try not to stay stuck in the “why me, God?” phase when things happen…it’s not productive. We are human, though, and we may experience many conflicting emotions when going through something…fear, anger, self-pity, anxiety, you name it. I have to learn to surrender these feelings to God. It’s not that I don’t have those feelings, but letting them rule my life is like letting go of the reins of a horse and allowing it to run away. As I surrender my circumstances to God, He takes the reins for me…and I can just focus on riding the horse.
Heavenly Father, help us all to aspire to passing grades in our spiritual lives. Teach us and grow us up in those areas which need improvement. May we praise you in those areas where we are satisfactory, compassionately helping others with them.