Why Study in School?
1-3. (a) How do you feel about school? (b) In what way does the Bible principle at Galatians 6:7 apply to schooling?
WHY do you go to school? Perhaps where you live you have to go to school up to a certain age; there is no choice. Or perhaps you are still a minor and so you have to do what your parents direct.
2 However, do you personally see any other reasons for being in school? Are there any benefits that come from applying yourself while at school or from doing homework? You likely know many young people who study just enough to get by, even if that—right? Yet, by not taking advantage of the opportunity to learn, they usually handicap themselves for the rest of their lives. Why?
3 Because what a person does during his youth has a great bearing on what he can do as an adult. Even regarding school the Bible principle applies: “Whatever a man is sowing, this he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7) But, you might ask, what are some of the benefits from ‘sowing’ time and effort in school study now?
4-6. (a) Why is a person better off if he makes good use of opportunities to learn while in school? (Proverbs 21:5) (b) What courses that are offered at school do you think would be most helpful to you later in life?
4 You have to face the fact that before many more years, you may have to support yourself. You may eventually take on the obligations of a husband and father, or a wife and mother. Would you like to make those responsibilities easier, more enjoyable? You can if you take advantage of your school years, learning things that will be useful in your adult life.
5 In many schools there are courses that teach you the fundamentals of different skills. For young men, there may be classes in carpentry, installing electrical equipment, welding, accounting and others. Young women can take courses in secretarial work, homemaking arts, such as cooking and sewing, and other valuable subjects.
6 Much of this training may not be easily available after you leave school. If you get it later, you might even find it costly. Or you might have to learn it by working with others who perhaps have little interest in teaching you. So, while still at school, why not take the opportunity to learn some of these things? And when it comes time for school courses to be selected, by all means talk the matter over with your parents. In this way you’ll be able to benefit from their experience in life.
LEARN TO READ WELL
7 While there are many things of practical value that you can learn in school, there is one that can bring you much joy. And it will have a tremendous influence on the rest of your school life and your entire adult life as well. It is the ability to read—and to read WELL. It is the key to unlocking many kinds of knowledge, skills and enjoyment.
8 In your waking hours you daily face things to read: signs, labels, books, magazines, newspapers, forms, also letters. All of this can be an unpleasant chore for those who read poorly. However, if you learn to read well, you will find your life greatly enriched in a pleasurable way.
9 Especially if you are a Christian will you want to learn to read well, so you can learn what is in God’s Word, the Bible. You will also find skillful reading to be of great value when talking to others about God’s purposes. Yes, good reading and good talking are closely linked.
10 Don’t be discouraged if, like many, you find you have a problem in reading. It is mainly a matter of practice, and being alert to note the way words are spelled. Read aloud at times. This will help you to get the correct meaning and to express the proper feeling when you read. And, if possible, ask someone who reads well to listen to you. That will help you to correct any mistakes or any bad habits you are developing.
11 True, the ability to read with ease and fluency doesn’t come without real effort. But for the effort you put forth now you will be repaid many times. It will aid you to get the best out of life.
OTHER BENEFITS FROM STUDYING
12-14. (a) Of what practical value are the courses that you are taking in school right now? (b) How will disciplining yourself to study prove of value to you later in life?
12 Some school subjects may not seem to be of much practical value, but they help to broaden your outlook and can be useful in other ways. Studying history, geography and languages enables you to learn about other peoples and places. Mathematics, which is considered a difficult subject by many, is very useful in many trades and occupations. It is even valuable to a homemaker who needs to figure out recipes and to keep budgets.
13 There is another benefit to studying in school, even those subjects you don’t like. Study exercises your mind and improves your ability to use it. It is something like a muscle in your body—the more you exercise it the better it will serve you. You will find that mental effort gradually becomes easier and more productive. But, as with a muscle, the mind will get “flabby” if you don’t bother to use it much. Who would want his mind to be like that?
14 Is there anything else of particular value that comes from applying yourself to your studies in school? Yes, you can learn self-discipline. This may not appeal to you now. But, as you know, you can’t always do just the things you prefer to do in life. That will be even more true when the time comes for you to take on greater responsibilities in making your own living, or in caring for your own family. If, like a skilled athlete, you get used to disciplining yourself now, it will help you to acquire the discipline needed to face adult obligations. It will also help you to develop the ability to concentrate. That is something so many people wish they had learned to develop when they were young.
15-18. (a) In what way can diligence in study be a protection to you? (Proverbs 13:20) (b) Why should a young person who is a Christian especially want to set a fine example in school? (Titus 2:6, 7, 10) (c) What life prospect that Christians have should be a strong incentive to you to study and to acquire practical skills in school? (1 John 2:15-17; 2 Peter 3:13)
15 As regards applying yourself diligently to your studies, there is yet another benefit that deserves special mention. Diligence in study can serve as a protection to you. In what way?
16 More than likely you’ve seen evidences of moral problems among your schoolmates. There is much sexual immorality and taking of drugs, with very sad results. Also, a spirit of rebellion prevails among many youths.
17 It may bother you a lot to be in company with people who have no respect for the fine standards of conduct taught in God’s Word. Although you can’t avoid contacting such persons, you can avoid associating with them beyond what is necessary for your schoolwork. And if you pay good attention to your studies, that will fill a sizable portion of your free time after school, automatically limiting your association with unprincipled persons. Seeing your desire to get on with your education, persons of that type, in time, will likely leave you alone. This will be a protection to you.
18 Then, too, if you are known as a true Christian, by applying yourself in your schoolwork you will set a fine example. That will be a credit to you, to your parents and to the God you worship. As a young Christian, you will find great encouragement and incentive in this fact: Many of the abilities and skills you develop now will be useful beyond the duration of this present system of things. Why? Because the Bible proves that this entire wicked system is nearing its end. Soon now it will be replaced by God’s righteous new order where honest-hearted persons will be able to enjoy everlasting life. In that new order God’s promise will prove true: “The work of their own hands my chosen ones will use to the full.” (Isaiah 65:22) So the good study and work habits you learn now as a youth can prove to be a source of satisfaction and enjoyment forever.
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Practical instruction can prepare you for later life