Navigating Stress in School and Church Work During College

By Akosua Frempong, Ph.D.

by Danielle Dolin

When we sign up for college, we sign up to excel. Naturally, then, anxiety about wanting to excel academically can set in. What about church work? If you have the right view about what service to God is all about, you wouldn’t have a problem. But, if you don’t, it’s time to have a mental shift, and now is the time.

Stress in School Work: We can be so fixated on wanting to excel academically that we lose our focus on Jesus Christ, the author and perfecter of our faith and the reason we’re embarking on our educational journey in the first place.

On the other hand, trusting God is vital to experiencing tremendous educational success and fulfillment. Giving God our academic pursuits by praying about them and understanding God has called us to this journey will make education much more enjoyable, fulfilling, and purposeful.

Moreover, undertaking education is for a reason. Believe it or not, God has a particular purpose for wanting us to pursue education. Most importantly, he cares about us receiving an education that aligns with what He wants to do in and through our lives. He has called us into unique and specific vocations that will take seeking Him to uncover and take that vocation course. Don’t think that God doesn’t think much about your education. He does, and He wants you to give it to Him, however far you may go in that pursuit.

Stress in Church Work: This may sound strange, but it’s possible to have tension in this area. It’s a matter of how we see things. We must remember we don’t need to earn God’s approval, love, or acceptance. He already loves us regardless of whether we do church work.

Our church work should come from our love for Him and not from wanting to earn something we already have. It’s a way of showing appreciation for the things God has done. We’ve erred if we see church work or service to God in His house as a way of righting our wrongs. Romans 8:1 says there’s no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

It’s also true that God says he’s pleased with us in that same chapter! Note, it’s not because we did something per se, but because of His Spirit in us (Romans 8: 9). That reality sets us at ease: God is pleased with us simply because we’ve accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and His Spirit lives in us. That is amazing!

So, the next time you think about service to God, remember He’s already pleased with you. Your service to Him is only an appreciation, a reciprocation, and a demonstration of your devotion.

The Bottom Line: Stress can come in many, even unexpected forms. However, we must always pray to God about whatever stressful situation we encounter, including for our education and church service. Trust Him with them. It’s time to take things easy!

Akosua Frempong, Ph.D., is a freelance journalist with the Evangelical Press Association. She has worked in journalism on three continents. As part of her journalism experience, she has worked as a broadcast journalist, anchor, and producer. Dr. Frempong is an adjunct journalism professor at Regent University, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Moreover, she is the founder of Listening Ear Communications, a company that provides excellent, professional journalism to various news media organizations and publications.

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