I’m a non-traditional college student, taking online classes, part-time while in my mid-thirties. One semester, I took an Ethics course (probably not the first course a Christian would register for). To my surprise, I wasn’t the only Bible-believer in the class. Others, more courageous than I, spoke up in the discussion boards about their spiritual background and beliefs, which inspired me to do the same.
In our final paper, we were to take a controversial subject previously studied in the course and give our opinion backed by moral thoughts and feelings. Close to one-third of my paper was quoting scripture to back my viewpoint.
When I clicked “submit”, I realized the paper was going to go through a system check of other papers, journals, websites, etc. to see if there was any plagiarism. It was my first time to submit work under this kind of inspection. While I had written everything from my own thoughts and feelings (other than the legitimate quotes), I began to worry that I may have coincidentally worded something the same way by others.
Ironically, while I had enough faith in God to be open about my beliefs, I was anxious about the paper. If too many of my phrases were flagged, it could ruin my grade. Finally, I asked myself, “What’s the worst that could happen?” I could get an F on the paper, and ultimately a D in the class. I could be kicked out of school.
Finally, I cried and prayed. I was ready to let God handle it. He knew I had used my own words with only His Word to guide me. He knew what the outcome would already be.
So many times, we worry about things beyond our control. Even though we try to be honest and upright, we know that something could get twisted in the wrong direction. (That’s the devil working.) We lose sight of the fact that even though we don’t know the future, God does. He knows what will happen today, tomorrow, and the next. And if we love the Lord, it will work out for good (Romans 8: 28). Once we can accept that, then we will have that peace that passes understanding.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.“ (Isaiah 26: 3 ESV)