Do Christian Parents Flirt with the Idol of Education?

An article I found interesting:

Several years ago I was talking with a ministry colleague about some options as I continued pursuing a master’s degree. In the course of conversation I mentioned my disinterest in transferring to one particular seminary, since its reputation wasn’t as strong as the others. “Is that important to you?” my friend casually asked. Puzzled by his lack of concern for academic prestige, I replied that of course it was important to me I attend the best school I could get into.

It wasn’t until I later reflected on that conversation that I recognized my snobbery regarding education. I’d attended an unranked public high school with a low percentage of college-bound students, then received my undergad degree at a highly ranked liberal arts university. So my educational experiences were quite varied.

Somewhere along the way, though, I had bought the lie that my diplomas define me.

American Idol

Meet the god of academic achievement. This beloved idol is subtle. Since it’s socially acceptable to pursue education at any cost, we’re not too bothered when the pursuit of academic achievement begins to rule our lives. We hardly notice when fellow Christians size up one another based on their alma mater—or even their children’s preschool. For high school students, this idol demands huge amounts of time and attention to claim the best possible grades, SAT scores, and college acceptances, yet it never seems to be enough.

Education is a great thing. After all, Jesus commands us to love the Lord with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength (Matt. 22:37). Education can develop our minds in such a way that we love God more, better understand the world he’s entrusted to our care, and partner with him for the advancement of his kingdom.

In a Christian framework, education itself is a gift from God and academic excellence a worthy pursuit.

Read the rest at the Gospel Coalition.

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