I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
2 Timothy 4:7-8
Here at the end of the school year, as we prepare to give awards, we are sometimes questioned about the wisdom and practicality of these recognitions.
Some will insist that young people should not be working for reward but for the internal desire to do their best, regardless of what they may receive. It is interesting that the all-knowing God who created us also promises rewards, the crowns spoken of in the passage above. While it certainly is true that every parent and teacher desires to instill a love of learning and a love of hard work, it seems that we were created with a built-in drive for recognition as well.
Some others insist that every student should receive an award, regardless of achievement level. From Scripture, we see that not everyone will receive this crown, only those who “love His appearing.” While we are certainly concerned about students’ feeling of self-worth, we also recognize that rewarding those who have not earned that recognition provides a negative motivation and will end up eventually damaging the sense of self-worth. The biblical principle of recognizing achievement is certainly a wise precedent we seek to emulate here at LCA.
Our annual awards chapels and commencement exercises do seek to honor those who have earned that honor, but beyond that we want all we do to bring honor to our Savior, Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 10:31 teaches us, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” We trust our awards will always remain subservient to the goal of seeking God’s glory first and most of all.