Dear Readers,


“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31

The context in the verse above has to do with the issue of food offered to idols in the Corinthian church. A Christian should be careful to glorify God in all aspects of his life. This includes matters pertaining to food and drink. Thus the Westminster Shorter Catechism Question 1 emphatically declares that “the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”

Many of our young people are students. Some young adults may also be considering or are already furthering their studies. The principle of the glory of God as seen in 1 Corinthians 10:31 should also apply to their student life. How then should one honour God in his or her studies?

Know Your Calling

First, the Christian student must understand that he is called by God. Paul exhorts in Ephesians 4:1, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called”. The term “vocation” refers to the call which God has given to every Christian. In Ephesians 4:1, this refers specifically to the high calling of every Christian to be the saint of God (see Ephesians 1:1), separated unto Christ and unto holiness.


As one who is called to be a saint and a Christian, Paul took great care to “walk worthy” of this high calling. The term “walk” refers to one’s daily conduct. One who “walks worthy” of the high call of God is one who is greatly devoted to obey what God demands of him as a Christian. His sole concern is to obey the will of God as revealed in the Holy Scriptures. Paul’s devotion to his calling as a Christian and an Apostle led him all the way to the Roman prison. This is the dedication required of one who desires to “walk worthy” of the call as a Christian!


As Christian students, we must bear in mind that we are first called to be Christians. As Christians, we are accountable to the standards which are laid down in God’s Holy Word. Have we be living in accordance with our sole authority of faith and practice? How does our daily conduct in school measure up to the requirements of a saint of God?


Furthermore, let the Christian student bear in mind that he is called by God specifically to be a student. He or she is not a student by chance. God has placed him in school to be a witness for Christ. Therefore, Christian students ought to spare no effort in fulfilling the demands required of them fby the educational institution or their teachers for these demands are imposed upon them not by man but by God.


It is imperative that a Christian student should understand that he is firstly called to be a Christian, and then specifically as a student. This will be the basis for his motives in his studies. The unbelieving Singaporean student is often motivated to study hard because this will lead to a better life, a better job, and a better pay. Their focus is on the material things of this world. But the Christian student will strive to do his best in his studies simply because he wants to “walk worthy” of the calling which God has called him to. His eyes are focused on pleasing His Master in heaven, and not upon the transient things of this world.

Be Diligent

This flows naturally from the understanding that being a student is a divine call. Since being a student is a divine calling, then one ought to put in his best effort in his studies. He must view the work that is being assigned to him as that which is appointed by God and not by man.


Paul states in Romans 12:11 that a Christian must be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”. The term “business” is the Greek word “spoudē” where we get the English word for “speed”. It has the idea of viewing our tasks as something that is urgent that needs to be completed with great haste and diligence. Procrastination should not be tolerated. Positively, the Christian should be filled with great zeal for his work because he knows this is what is required of him to be a living sacrifice for God (Romans 12:1). Service for the Lord is not just restricted to time spent in the church. It involves every aspect of our lives. For the Christian student, this means giving our best in our studies.


One of the frequent arguments used by students to excuse laziness is that “the subject of study is not relevant”. While this may be true for the unbelieving student, it is certainly not true for the Christian student. Is not the subject of study appointed to him by God? The subject of study is therefore most relevant to the Christian student because it is God’s business for him. He should therefore approach the task with great zeal and fervency for it is his service unto the Lord.


Let us also not forget that laziness is a sin. In 2 Thessalonians 3, Paul rebuked those who were idle and refused to work, reminding the Thessalonians that those who are not willing to work should not eat. The Book of Proverbs is replete with warnings against slothfulness (Proverbs 6:6-11; 10:26; 13:4; 15:19; 19:24; 20:4; 21:25; 22:13; 24:30-34; 26:13-16). Do not be lazy!


Be an Example

Jesus spoke in the Sermon on the Mount these words: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16) Christians are given the wonderful privilege to be the witnesses for Christ. The light of Christ in the Christian is to be evident to those around him. A Christian who does not shine forth his Christian witness is as useless as a candle whose light is hidden, and as salt which has lost its preserving and flavouring property. You might as well cast away the worthless salt or candle. Similarly, it is perhaps better for the Lord to take away a disobedient Christian home to heaven if he is not faithful in his witness. One example are the Corinthians who were caused to “sleep” (i.e. taken to heaven) because they were constantly abusing the Lord’s Supper. We certainly do not want to be following in the same footsteps.


In 1 Timothy 4:12, Paul exhorts the young pastor Timothy, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” While these words are especially applicable to pastors who are supposed to be the under-shepherds in the church, they are also equally applicable to all who are called to be Christians. The word “example” is where we get the English word “type”. It carries the idea of a mould which is carefully crafted and used as a standard for printing patterns upon cloth or metals. As Christians, we are to present the right pattern of Christ-likeness before others. Dear Christian student, can your fellow students and teachers see this pattern and model of godliness in you?


On the other hand, Paul commands Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:22, “Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” This is a call of separation from all sin and worldliness. What a travesty if a believer’s fellow students and teachers are not able to see Christ in him or her, but only a model of worldliness and sin. Therefore, let every Christian student strive to be an example of the believers.


One way a student can show forth an example of Christ-likeness is the submission of honest work. Do not plagiarise, for plagiarism is stealing. Always acknowledge your sources. A student should not attempt to cheat or take shortcuts in any of his assignments or tests. It is a great dishonour to the name of Christ. Even if it is not discovered by man, it is not hidden from the eyes of God and He will surely chastise the one who sins.

Be Disciplined

A student should also strive to lead a disciplined life. There are some activities in life which may not be sinful. But they can cause severe harm to the Christian’s spiritual life and distract us from our calling if we become addicted to them. Therefore, Paul warns, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) Playing certain sports and games in moderation is certainly lawful. But if a Christian student is addicted to such activities and fails to fulfil his duty as a student, his addiction has certainly become a sin. This is also true for computer and mobile gaming. How many have become distracted because of the attractiveness of these games! And some of these games are not even lawful for they are filled with violence and themes of sorcery and necromancy.


On the other hand, Paul teaches in Ephesians 5:15-16, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” This passage assumes that time is under the power of evil, and it is the Christian’s duty to make sure that they are spent for Christ and not for wickedness. It is sometimes useful for the Christian student to keep a log of his activities and observe how he spends his time. Are the hours spent profitable for his calling as a student? Or are they wasted in unprofitable activities that distract from his calling as a student? Make every second count for Christ!


Another issue that can often cause teenage students to compromise Christian principles is “boy-girl relationships” or BGR. While it is natural for boys and girls to develop interest in each other as they grow up, they often do lack the required maturity to handle their emotions and relationships. One should only enter into BGR with marriage in view. Teenage Christian students should ask themselves whether they are ready to handle marriage. Certainly not so! They should therefore steer clear from BGR as it could easily lead them into sin. Young Christian boys and girls should learn to keep a respectful distance from each other. Keep your hands off each other! Concentrate on your calling, which is that of a student. Be disciplined and yield not to temptation. God will lead in this area of BGR in His own time when He has given you the requisite spiritual maturity.


Be Evangelising

Every Christian is called to fulfil the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20. Part of this Commission involves the work of evangelising. As Christian students, our immediate mission field is found in the school, college or university. Have you shared the good news of Christ to your teachers and friends?


In a recent youth meeting, one preacher emphasised the urgency of evangelism from John 4:35. In this verse, Jesus asked his disciples to lift their eyes and look on the fields, for the harvest are white for harvest. In those days, the barley fields will turn white when it is the time for harvesting. The farmer must then harvest the fields for it will be too late to harvest if the season is past. But when Jesus said those words, it was not yet the time for harvest. And yet Jesus described the fields as being white! These harvest fields are of course the souls of men. Jesus was telling the disciples that now is the time for them to evangelise and preach the Word of God. Do not wait till the harvest is over. Similarly, the time for the Christian student to evangelise is now. His divinely appointed mission field is his campus. He should not procrastinate in sharing the gospel. It is urgent work. The time to evangelise is now!



In John 4:34, Jesus declared, “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish it.” The meat (food) refers to Christ’s entire earthly ministry which was committed to Him by the Father. If that ministry involves preaching to the Samaritans in Samaria, He will gladly do it. Similarly, Christian students ought to realise that their meat is to fulfil their calling as a student. They should regard their work as a student as necessary as the eating of food for daily sustenance. In addition, the Christian student is not only to regard their calling as “food” assigned to them by Christ, but they are to be wholly dedicated to the calling assigned to them till it is complete. This calls for consistent focus on Christ and His Word throughout the student’s life.


Dear student, are you honouring God in your studies? Amen.


Preacher Clement Chew