“…Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” 1 Timothy 4:7b-8
About two years ago, I graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. Last month, my brother graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth with a Bachelor’s in Political Science and Anthropology. One of my sisters has been in college a year and my other sister will start in a couple of years. Our parents were professional teachers, and thus instilled in us a value for education.
But what is the value of education? I think chiefly education is to train you for life. It is valuable because it enables you to better understand the world and to contribute to it. God made the world for us to explore, and an education helps us do that. Now that my brother and I have graduated, we are supposed to be better citizens, with our studies having equipped us to deal with life’s challenges.
In many ways, our lives themselves are training. While life now is important, it is not nearly as important as the life to come. As Paul explains in 1st Timothy 4, we will someday graduate to an eternal life, and so it is important to train for that future life. Our lives now teach us lessons that will prepare us for our eternity. So I ask myself, am I ready to graduate? Will I pass the test and live in the coming Kingdom? If I, and if you, trust in the work that Christ already did, then the answer is yes. Christ graduated a life on earth with honors, and he freely passes on those honors to us. So we can, if we have received those honors, say that yes, indeed, we will graduate.