It is that time of year.
Oh, how well I remember trying to cram my brain full of as much information as I could before a test. I was NOT like my older brother who studied all semester and enjoyed testing. It was a chance for him to see just how much he had learned – and it was always a LOT. He gathered information and retained it piece by piece like sponge.
Waiting until right before the test was not a good strategy. I know! I would always get painfully stiff necks – a result of the stress I denied I was in. I always went to class – that should be an advantage, shouldn’t it?
Actually learning something is not the same as being in the room when information is shared or lessons taught. Some of us learn best by doing something. I am that way. That is probably the main reason I gravitated toward art and eventually majored in visual arts. Those classes involved making things, creating.
Our children and grandchildren learn in different ways. Of our four children, two were very good at taking tests, the other two did fine, yet the test results did not usually reflect their ability or knowledge in that particular subject. Our child who struggled the most with testing ended up with outstanding grades in college earning a degree in a difficult major, being inducted into an honor society in that major.
We must make sure that we do NOT judge our children by their test results. Intellectually, we know that a test is only one measure or knowledge or ability, and often an incomplete measure at that.
As Christians, we also know that God is desiring “fruit” to be produced, not stellar test grades. Good grades may result as the evidence of some fruit –
- fruit of faithfulness – studying on a regular basis
- fruit of self-control – finishing assignments before playing
- fruit of patience – a willingness to work through hard problems or assignments, not giving up
- fruit of love – comes from a love of learning
- fruit of joy – the sense of accomplishment from doing YOUR best
James 1:11-12 says
11 The hot sun rises and the grass withers; the little flower droops and falls, and its beauty fades away. In the same way, the rich will fade away with all of their achievements.
12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
What remains of value in our lives are not the test results and achievements. What remains is the fruit that God produces in our lives through His Holy Spirit.
As our children and grandchildren face testing or competitions of any kind, we must help them face these challenges with a Godly perspective. We must be sure that we focus on what matters most.