It is impossible to fail our program. There is not an A to F grading system because the Christian training worldview is counter-intuitive to secular systems (1 Corinthians 1:25). I supervise the work, but I do not put any student in an A or F category.
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I have to ask myself, “Who am I to grade another person; what do I know?” I must tread carefully when “assessing” another believer.
Especially in light of Jesus placing the widow with two copper coins at the head of the line and the wealthy blue blood at the back of the line (Mark 12:42). And then He said the first would be last and the last will be first (Matthew 20:16).
Paul followed up when he talked about the hand or eye not being any better than the foot (1 Corinthians 12:15). Or something like that. Indeed, His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
As we collectively spend time around the cross, we are humbly aware of how similar we are (Romans 3:23). There is neither Jew or Gentile or smart or dumb (Galatians 3:28). A person who flunked out of high school and the post-graduate with honors are the same in our program.
It’s not about a grading scale at all. It’s about the student fulfilling the preordained, God-given capacities that the good Lord has graciously given to them. Everybody is a jar (of clay) (2 Corinthians 4:7) that God fills with goodness and knowledge (Romans 15:14), so he or she can care for other people.
I am not the person who determines the capacity of the jar or the boundaries of people (Acts 17:26). I’m not the person to decide if the student has a so-called small or large, pristine or dented jar.
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” – Romans 9:20
My job is to come alongside each student, according to who he/she is and how God has made them, to help them become all the Lord has shaped them to be (Genesis 2:7). Perhaps a student goes through our program, and it becomes apparent that formal counseling is not their thing. That is perfect. Their goal is not to be anything but the person the Lord has equipped them to be.
Regardless of who you are, we equip you according to the Lord’s right purposes for you (1 Peter 2:21). We do expect our students to do the best they can, working with the gifts they have, as they appropriate God’s grace into their lives.
My job is to honor the Lord by doing my best to serve them. They, like me, have to determine if they are going to give it their all–whatever that may be.
Christians do not “grade” Christians on a pass or fail system (Philippians 1:6). What have any of us received that God did not give to us (1 Corinthians 4:7)? We are patient with all people (1 Thessalonians 5:14) while counting others more significant than ourselves (Philippians 2:3-4) because we are aware that even our best goodness is unrighteous goodness (Isaiah 64:6).
Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further. – Job 40:4-5
It is up to the student to humbly, diligently, and practically work out what the Lord has (and is) working into them (Philippians 2:12-13). And that is how you “pass” our program with flying colors for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
Also published on Medium.