When Your Education Tests Your Faith, You Have Three Choices


Daniel and his friends didn’t let phony ideas blow up their faith. Neither should you.

“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12 NIV). 

Education is vitally important to all of us. It’s one of the few parts of our lives that should never end. We should always be learning. The Bible describes it as a key to a successful life (Proverbs 19:8). 

But like anything so important, we have to guard it. We have to ensure that our learning draws us closer to God and doesn’t pull us away from him. 

That starts with a decision.

You have to decide in advance to stand for God. 

The time to think through your loyalty to God isn’t when you’re learning something new. It’s before you even start. 

The Bible tells us, “In the world you have tribulation” (John 16:33b NASB). 

This verse doesn’t say “you might” have troubles. It doesn’t say “if” you have troubles. It says you will have troubles. And that includes your education. Your faith will be tested by your education. No doubt about it.

In 2 Timothy 3:12 we read, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (NIV). 

If you’re not suffering any persecution in your life, it may indicate you’re not living an entirely godly life. It may mean you’re trying to be a chameleon where some people don’t know you’re a Christian.

Count on being tested in your education. You can fail a big math test. But you can’t fail the most important test you’ll ever take — the test of your faith. It has eternal consequences.

When your education tests your faith, you have three choices.

You can take a dive. You withdraw and just drop your faith.

You can withdraw. You simply compartmentalize your life, and you don’t let God’s Word impact what you’re learning.

You can determine to thrive. You choose to run what you’re learning through the filter of God’s Word.

That’s what Daniel and his friends did in the first chapter of Daniel. Before going through the king’s indoctrination program, Daniel “made up his mind not to defile himself” (Daniel 1:8a NLT). 

Daniel and his friends didn’t let phony ideas blow up their faith. Neither should you.

Decide from the start you’ll protect your mind. Decide you’ll run everything through a biblical filter. That’s how you thrive in your education — and your faith. And use this filter no matter how old you are or where you are in life — God wants you to be a lifelong learner, which means you’ll face lifelong challenges to your faith. 

Remember that God is for you, not against you, when you’re being tested. He’s guiding you into a deeper faith and a closer relationship with him. 

Talk It Over

  • Think of a time you saw someone “take a dive” or “withdraw” when education tested their faith. What did you learn from their experience? 
  • How have you used the filter of God’s Word to process something you’ve learned? How did you grow from that experience?
  • How can you help another person learn the principles in this devotional and guard their mind properly throughout their education?

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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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