Around this time of year, newspapers fill with photos of young men and women who have topped HSC subjects and overall ATAR scores. For many other thousands of students across the country their names are contained in lists with numbers marked next to them, each digit counting for so much in terms of their perception of worth.
This is a huge cause of anxiety and stress. And it is no longer limited to grade 12. NAPLAN testing throughout primary and high school ramps up performance pressures, not only for students but the whole school-for now they are to be tabled and publicly judged too. Anyone can now look up a school and see its stats. I guess that principals quake in fear at each year’s NAPLAN release.
As helpful (or unhelpful) these grades are, and as important as they seem during our years of schooling as a child or parent, these are not the final verdict on a person and their labour.
The Bible says that our final verdict is whether or not our name is in Jesus’ book of life. At his return it will be opened for all people across all time. From it will come heaven or hell, glory or devastation.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.
If we get anxious about the HSC and NAPLAN, how can we deal with this far more significant test? Only through trusting in Jesus Christ. He alone passed the test of God’s righteousness, as shown by his resurrection.
He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
We can remain calm through any grading in this life, because more significantly our names are written in Jesus’ book of life, and his work and results have been confirmed for us by God in his resurrection before the whole world.
– Sam Pursell