It’s that time of year again where schools throughout the world have started up again, waving goodbye to long lazy summer days and hello to autumn, filled with pumpkin spice lattes, homework and essays. Mine starts in a month’s time so I’m enjoying every second that I can!
While reading through Daniel, I realized that the first two chapters can really apply to university students. I shows how we should be an example on our campuses as Christians. Daniel and the others were chosen to be trained for three years so they could go on to serve the king. In the United Kingdom, most BA degrees are completed in three years and after go off to get graduate jobs to serve under a boss, CEO, whomever it may be.
A few things that needs to be remembered…
- Be excellent
The King wanted those who were chosen to be “…young men without any physical defect, handsome,showing aptitude for every kind of learning, well informed, quick to understand, and qualified to serve in the king’s palace. He was to teach them the language and literature of the Babylonians.” Daniel 1 :4
These men had criteria they needed to fill before they were accepted to study the “language and literature of the Babylonians”. The same way we fill in the criteria with our grades and take exams to get into university like the SAT in the USA. Since you were chosen to enter thatt university, you should be grateful and do the absolute best that you can because not everyone will have the opportunity that you have. The scripture says to chose people who “SHOW aptitude”. Aptitude, according to dictionary.com, is readiness or quickness in learning. So showing aptitude in uni is asking questions, engaging with the professor, working hard to get the best possible grade without anyone telling you to work hard. If someone has to tell you to work hard on something, you don’t really have an aptitude for it so you will not be excellent in that area. Jesus never did things halfway and he instilled in those who follwed him, such as Paul, to work hard at everything they set out to do. Always have the mindset that all the essays, projects and presentations are not for the ones who will give you the grade but as if God is looking at it himself. You can not use church commitments or bible studies as an excuse to do not study diligently or complete assignments on time.
“Servants, do what you’re told by your earthly masters. And don’t just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you’ll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you’re serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn’t cover up bad work.”
Colossians 3:22-25 MSG
2. Don’t eat junk / fast food all the time
“The king assigned them a daily amount of food and wine from the king’s table… But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. Daniel then said to the guard…, “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food.”
Daniel 1:5, 8-12, 15 NIV
Who hasn’t fallen into the trap of snacking while studying or not eating properly because You forgot to cook the night before? I sure have! Daniel knew that his diet would affect his spiritual life even more so than his physical. If you don’t eat a balanced diet you will be more fatigue and emotional unable to focus 100% on anything. Eat fruits and vegetables. Stay away from munching on crisps all the time. Start having ready meals so you can grab it on the way out the door as you’re running to the train or bus. Wouldn’t you want to be “healthier and better nourished”? If you don’t take care of yourself spiritually and physical, how will you take care of others? Especially being a christian, if you aren’t strong spiritually you can’t help others get close to Jesus which hinders your mission.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
3. God will help you
“To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning… The king talked with them, and he found none equal… so they entered the king’s service. In every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king questioned them, he found them ten times better than in his whole kingdom.”
Daniel 1:17, 19 – 20 NIV
Daniel received wisdom from God because he wouldn’t compromise on his convictions. He was a hard worker before anyone even noticed him and even stuck to being healthy when he had the perfect opportunity for some great free food! God will give you what you need as long as you put him first (Matthew 6:33). Disciples need to be the ones who set the standard on campus not follow what everyone else is doing so people can find “none equal” to those who practically apply the Bible to their lives daily.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
James 1:5 NIV
Hard work, healthy diet and God on your side! Have a great uni yeat!