Salt and Light: Distinctive in Exam Time
Following on in our Salt & Light series is a post on a topic some of us are all too familiar with... exams! Our new writer Florrie is exploring how we can not only 'get through' exam season, but also use it as an opportunity to shine, to demonstrate our faith in Jesus and allow his peace to fill our hearts and lives. So, why not start your weekend of revision by getting your priorities in place, and asking God how He might use you in this time? L x
We all know that feeling. The achy-butterfly stomach mixed with clammy palms and that strange throbbing ear (random, but stay with me). It simply overwhelms you just thinking about the prospect of an exam, before you even begin considering the actual day itself; the room, the silence…the silence – why does it insist of sucking all your thoughts away at the very moment you need them? The weeks of revision and the gradual build-up of fear all riding on this one paper.
As humans, facing human challenges, with human expectations it is so easy for us to slip into a mind-set where we tell ourselves that it is ALL up to us. We rely solely on our own ability – or perhaps if we need to feel extra ‘lucky’ we will whip out a good ol’ CGP revision guide – and allow ourselves to depend on our own strength, keeping our fingers crossed and hoping for the best.
However, as Christians we should seek to have a different perspective and it is important we strive to avoid this frame of mind.
We know that divine ability is completely and utterly in God’s hands: He has known and loved us since before the world began and He has a plan for us, a place for us in His heavenly kingdom for eternity.
Proverbs 3:5-6 highlights this perfectly for us:
‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.’
Whilst we strive to remember and apply this in our day to day life – not just in exam season – it is so important we acknowledge how we are portraying our trust in our Father to our friends. We are all aware of the frenzy that exams bring, pathetic fallacy and electronic configuration just seem to creep into conversation and before you know it you are panicking to yourself that you don’t quite know the date JFK’s cat died in relation to the Cuban Missile Crisis – ridiculous, I know - but it’s happened.
As we seek to follow the example and live in the image of Jesus – being the salt and the light - we should be wary to remain distinctive.
Worrying should not be on our agenda. Jesus tells us not to worry in Matthew 6, and promises that we will be so richly provided for if we seek His kingdom first, and place it at the centre of our lives. So, when we witness our friends becoming overwhelmed by quantities of work or terrified at the prospect of an exam we can demonstrate our faith in God to them by remaining calm and thankful. By behaving in this way we are acting as beacons of God’s love and eternal promise.
Reflecting your thoughts in a different light and living them out may potentially open up opportunities to share with your friends why exactly you remain calm and thankful in a time of anxiety for so many.
We can recognise that ultimately we can live lives free from fear because our lives are secure as a result of Jesus dying on the cross for us. His extreme fear in that moment means that we don’t have to face the trials of worry – whether it be a trivial fear or a vast anxiety – the outcome is, and forever shall be the same.
Our debt has been paid, our past is forgiven and our future is certain.
So why not shout about it? Why not sing his glory? What a challenge to live in a distinctive way that shows our friends where sovereignty lies. We have one hope, one deliverer who guides us through fear and joy and his cross has power over all. It is in this where we can find and show our strength and faith in Christ Jesus to those around us.
Florrie is currently at secondary school in London and loves all things creative. As well as being an exceptional athlete, she also provides some of the finest and wittiest captions Instagram has ever seen... Florrie's positive and joyful outlook on life is reflected through her shining personality, and her love for Jesus is expressed through her love for other people.
NB: After some disorganisation from the MP team, Florrie's bio was put together by us - hence being a little less modest than her own words might have been! ;-)