Challenging Yourself When You Don’t Feel Challenged
I’ve gone to a Christian school my entire life, and I’m grateful to have been given the opportunity to immerse myself in Christian education. However, after years and years of Bible classes, I began to become stagnant in my faith (doesn’t really make sense, right?). I have to wonder if that was equally on me as it was on the lesson plans of my Bible classes.
Of course, depending on the age of an individual, the level of thought-provoking content will be limited, but as I got older (probably sixth grade and on), this level of complacency in my faith within the structure of Bible class seemed constant and even harmful. So, I started to reflect on if my mindset was ready to be challenged and in a place of growth and looking back, it probably wasn’t.
It can be difficult to want to push yourself in your faith within a Christian school because at times, it can feel like the “Christian agenda” is thrown at you 24/7. But, in last year’s Biblical Ethics class, I truly gave myself a chance to take controversial topics head-on. Issues such as abortion or the death penalty can be hard to talk about, especially if the “Christian agenda” is impressed upon you. However, in the way ethics class was set up, I was able to evaluate for myself in my own faith how to feel about them, not anybody else.
Personally, I think the problem that led me to become stagnant in my faith in regards to taking Bible class seriously (even within a Christian school) was the fact that I thought my faith had to look the same as everybody else’s. It’s very easy to overlook a Christian education because the majority of us have been taught Christianity from the time we were born, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still need to find ways to challenge ourselves and expand upon our basic knowledge of the Christian faith.
I have been guilty of letting Bible class appear and mean the same thing to me as any other class. I didn’t allow myself the opportunity to grow in my faith and in my knowledge of the Lord because I didn’t know any better. If we push ourselves to learn in our other core classes, shouldn’t we do the same in Bible class? Isn’t that why we chose a Christian education?
It’s okay to ask questions about Christianity in a Christian school because we don’t have it all figured out in high school. Challenging yourself, your peers, and your teachers is not only beneficial to growth but beneficial to building community. Going to a Christian school doesn’t mean you will be challenged all the time. Sometimes we have to search for ways to do that ourselves if that’s what we truly want. It’s important to treat God and our faith with the respect it deserves.
If you are looking to grow your faith, I think a good place to start (myself included) is to dig into the word of God, push ourselves to talk about controversial issues within the Christian bubble, and have uncomfortable conversations. Ultimately, this will help us become stronger believers, but we have to start by wanting to take that initiative.