The Only Way to Truly Thrive

I had great plans to write a mini series on “Thriving as a Student” but was humbled by how much I am still learning in this area.

I just finished taking a theology class, but I haven’t been a student for a few years since I graduated high school. (At this point, college isn’t the path God has for me right now.) It was pretty ironic how as I anticipated writing on the physical and emotional aspects of stewarding our God-given bodies throughout the busyness of school and responsibilities that I realized I was so not in a place to give grand advice.

I’ll be honest. COVID has been stressful for me–as it’s been for all of us, in one way or another. As an extrovert, I miss the old ways of life when you could see people’s faces and give hugs and hang out in crowds without feeling concerned or paranoid. Peace was majorly lacking in my disposition. My body was physically and emotionally taxed at the end of October when I planned to write my series on thriving physically and emotionally! I wasn’t managing my time (and homework) super awesomely.

Christian writer and speaker Erin Davis gave some excellent, godly advice:

Write about things that are true of you.

And to be honest, guys, thriving as a student hadn’t been true of me. So I didn’t write the articles.

My mom is a very wise woman who’s very gifted at administration and organization, and she’s helped me a ton over the years. My artsy brain can be a bit all over the place. As the seasons of my life have changed, she’s given guidance on how to adapt and use my time well to glorify God. Thankfully she came alongside me and gave me some advice on prioritizing my busy schedule for productivity and rest.

And while I could tell you how managing time on social media, healthy eating and sleeping routines, and organized schedules help you thrive as a student–which is true–all those things are ultimately not the key to thriving.

Only Jesus is.

thriving in Christ

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

True abundance and satisfaction is found in God. If we do everything “right” apart from investing in our relationship with the Lord, we will come up short and never be filled.

I’m not saying that if you read your Bible every day you’ll get straight A’s or be accepted into your dream college if you serve in ministry all through high school. (Nope, that’s the prosperity gospel, a cheap, inaccurate version of the beautiful and true Gospel.)

I’m saying that ultimately, whether it’s doing the dishes or writing a paper or babysitting siblings or filling out a college application, we need to do it for the glory of God.

Throughout many of my years as a student growing up, my mom constantly reminded us of Colossians 3:23.

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…

Obeying my parents, honoring my teachers, doing my best on my assignments was ultimately about pleasing the Lord.

How we work, how we rest, how we spend our free time, how we interact with family and friends–it all depends on what we believe will truly allow us to thrive.

The Lord is meant to be our most important and intimate relationship. Are you spending time with Him daily in His Word and in prayer? Are you casting your cares upon Him?

God designed the Sabbath for a reason. Are you resting from your homework? Are you taking care of your body so that you can thrive physically and serve the Lord well?

There’s a reason we’re meant to live as though we have an audience of one (God). Are you honoring the Lord by how you do your homework? Does your attitude reflect that?

There are so many emotions in the midst of crazy-busy schedules of homework and school. The body of Christ (whether family or friends or mentors) is meant to come alongside us, as we’re supposed to come alongside them as well. Are you sharing your heart–your struggles and emotions–with godly people? Are you breaking away from your commitments for refreshment and being filled from fellowship with other believers?

Christ is the source of thriving. If we had all the self-care tips and academic success in the world, we would run dry.

True abundance is found in Christ.

Spend time with the One who knows you deeply, sanctifies you continuously, and cares for you beyond comprehension.

He didn’t die for us so that we could get into the ivy league school or score a perfect GPA. He died to rescue us, for us to glorify and enjoy Him in all that we do, to find our strength and joy and rest in Him, and to thrive in the greatest inheritance and source of abundance we could ask for or imagine:

Him.

If you’re not a follower of Jesus Christ, I encourage you to check out the Good News page, which explains why and how Jesus is everything we desperately need.

I’d love to hear from you!

  • In what ways has the Lord taught you to thrive in Him throughout the busyness of school & other responsibilities?
  • What’s a favorite verse that helps you to rest in Him?

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