Archive for September, 2010

What’s Your Major?

Posted: September 23, 2010 in Christian Living, General Life
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Maybe you’ve heard this question before. If you attend or have attended a college, chances are, you have heard this one before. Depending on your answer, there are many follow-up questions, such as; “When did you decide you wanted to do that?” or “Do you want to be a history teacher (or English, or math…). When I talk to teenagers about their college plans, I usually get blank stares back, or some rehearsed speech about the importance of college in today’s society. Granted, education is important, and should not be shunned for the sake of rebellion, but is college always the right answer? In the US, education is free from Kindergarten through twelfth grade. After that, it’s up to the individual to decide whether or not to continue formal education. College is not free for Americans. And it shouldn’t be. College is supposed to be higher education. It should be worth something, and thus, should cost something. My problem is not with the cost of school, but in the way our society forces college on our teenagers.

Now, college is not cheap. A rough estimate for tuition over a year at a 4 year public school is slightly over $7k, while the average yearly cost of a 4 year private school is just over $26k (I looked up stats on collegeboard.com). Multiply that by four and you’re looking at student loans hovering near six-figures. Now, if you want to enter a career field where college is not an option, well, college is not an option, but there are not many of those. For the other career fields, there are other more creative ways to learn a trade or educate yourself. I work in the technology field, and spent no money on education. I joined the Army instead. They trained me to do all kinds of nifty things, and then even gave me money to go to college when we parted ways. If you don’t feel like taking up arms against others, there are free books at the library and online that will help you learn a new trade or to know more about your current one. My point is, college is not the only option after high school.

Now to the real point of my post. Why? We tell kids they need to go to college as if life depends on it. Even in Christian circles, it seems that we put a lot of faith in this system. You go to school, get good grades (maybe even play a sport or two), get into a good college, then get a good 9-5. Get married, have kids and ignore them as you climb the corporate ladder. Ah, the American way.

There is no difference in how Christians live than most other Americans. There is nothing separating us from the crowd. Faith in God is not demonstrated by following the status quo. Our faith seems to be in the system of this society. Our faith in God is that we hope He will help us bend the system to our wills. I don’t think it’s supposed to be this way. Shouldn’t there be another way? If we continue to follow the ways of the world, how are we supposed to show that there is another way? If we didn’t spend so much time trying to earn money, and actually took care of each other, and lived simpler lives, wouldn’t we be different?

What do you think? Is college the only viable answer? Does following the crowd mean we don’t have faith in God for our paths in life? I would really like to hear some opinions on this, if you’re willing to post responses in the comments section.

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Where Faith and Life Collide

Posted: September 15, 2010 in Christian Living
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I had an interesting discussion this past week with some friends about faith.  It seems that faith is a word that gets thrown out a lot in our modern Christian culture.  People talk about needing more faith, living out our faith, acting on faith, sharing faith… the list goes on.  We, as Christians, talk a lot about faith, but do we really live out faith?  Do we really have true faith?  I believe we do act in faith, but in what are we putting our faith?  When we really look into our lives, where does our faith reside?  Do we really trust God?

In Matthew 6, verse 24, Jesus says “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”  Jesus is speaking to our faith here.  What we serve is where we place our faith.  We have a choice, to serve God or to serve the world.  I believe too many of us are wrapped up in serving the world that we don’t even realize it.  We put a lot of faith into things like college and jobs, retirement and healthcare.  Now, these things aren’t evil, or anti-God or bad unto themselves.  It’s the amount of faith we put into these man-made institutions that needs to be weighed.

I would like to delve into these topics a little more on their own.  I have a tendency to write too much, and try to fit everything into one package, but to do justice to the thoughts I have, I think I’ll continue this by breaking it down into a few parts.  Hopefully this topic will pique your interest.  Hopefully it will help you to examine your faith.  Hopefully it will help you draw closer to God.  This is the interesting part of Christianity.  This is where we put our money where are mouths are.  This is where we see if we truly believe what we say we believe.  This is where faith and life collide.