Thought for Day - Exams

Good morning.

This is the day when the Scottish Qualification Authority issues exam results. Many young people will have already received their results by email, others will be anxiously waiting for the postman. For some it will be a welcome relief, for some a cause for celebration, for others a great deal of soul searching.

For me it brings back memories of anxiously waiting for exam results, Highers and other school exams, some of which now come under different names; and the highs and lows that went with it.

I thought I would reflect on some of the wider issues connected to this in the hope that they might have a wider relevance.

Firstly good marks does not mean a good person. You can be an upright, caring, thoughtful individual without a single exam pass.

Secondly, exam success is not the same as good self-esteem. There are many reasons to think positively about ourselves. As a Christian I believe I am made in the image of God, known by God and loved by him. Jesus said, I am the good shepherd, I know my sheep and they know me. They hear my voice and they follow me.

Thirdly setbacks do not mean that our futures are denied us. God has a plan for our lives and we should trust him to bring it to fruition. The psalmist said, ‘The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book before any of them began’. In another passage it says, ‘You may make your plans, but the Lord’s will is going to be done’. Perhaps we have been marking out our own destiny rather than seeking his will.

Fourthly and finally Christians can live with failure, knowing that God’s purposes are worked out in spite of our faults.

Jesus said to the apostle Paul, ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is greatest when you are weak’. Even setbacks serve the good purposes he has for us; and can be to his glory. Have a good day.