Very often when I talk with Christian students, I hear the same excuse for not attending church, weekly Bible study, or discipleship. The excuse is “I have to work,” or “I need to study and do homework.”
As we studied in Matthew 6:25-34, Jesus tells us not to worry about tomorrow. Before we quickly excuse what we are anxious about as being worthy of our worrying, we should take note that Jesus gives the example of how we shouldn’t worry about the basic necessities like food and clothing. But He says, don’t worry about these things! The same principle applies to school and work. You need money to survive, and you need to study for school in order to stay in college and graduate. Certainly we should all work hard and prepare, but when it consumes our time and energy to the detriment of our spiritual growth, it is not healthy.
Jesus tells us to seek FIRST the kingdom of God and His righteousness. He doesn’t tell us to seek only when you have extra time. When we seek first our academic success, or we seek first our financial stability, we have actually made those things an IDOL in our life.
When we put things like making money or academic success as a higher priority than God, when we cannot even give an hour or two to devote to worship, Christian fellowship, or spiritual growth, we are communicating to ourselves and to others that God is not sufficient to provide for our needs. We fail to trust Him. Jesus even says we have “little faith.”
Let me be clear that I am not saying that if you miss one Bible study or Sunday morning that you have placed these things as an idol. But if you are being honest with yourself, is this becoming a pattern in your life? If so, now is the time to repent and ask God to change your heart. Now is the time to ask God to give you the faith to trust Him to provide what you need, even when it seems impossible.