Jennifer and Janet are identical twins. Jennifer is more intelligent than Janet. During exams, Jennifer used to write for her sister because their handwriting looked alike. Sometimes later, they were to sit for the Joint Admission Matriculation Board (JAMB) but before the day of the exam, they both encountered Jesus in a crusade organised by their church. They both determined not to be involved in any form of examination malpractice again. They studied hard for the exam and trusted God for success. When the results came out, they both performed excellently. When they were asked about their success; they attributed it to God. People use different means to become successful today, but the sure way in which God is glorified is the way of hard work and trust in Him.

A new path towards academic excellence

The American Heritage Dictionary defines excellence as the state, quality or condition of excellence; superiority. In other words, it is the quality of being outstanding, being truly the best. Excellence is synonymous with distinction, brilliance, and greatness. To excel means to go beyond the ordinary.

The word ‘Excellent ‘ in biblical terms means being the best we can be by God’s grace. It refers to attaining the ultimate height with the gifts and abilities God has given us; attaining the best to the glory of God. It is exceptionally doing ordinary things and getting results. Excelling in academics is indeed good, but it is not without a price. Nobody wants to be associated with failure. It is natural to want to do well in life, especially in one’s academics, but not everybody who professes excellence is excellent. This is because excellence is an attitude. It is the very nature of God, and it takes someone who has God’s nature to be able to possess and manifest excellence.

Meaning of Academic Excellence

Academic excellence is the ability to perform well, achieve and excel in academic activities. It is more than just making good grades; it is the maximum development of your intellectual capacities and skills for outstanding performance and brilliance. Academic excellence is a tool that has a lot of benefits. It is not exclusively reserved for some individuals. Rather, it is meant for every child of God who decides to pay the price. Academic excellence can be achieved through determination, discipline, personal resolve, hard work, and the fear of God. Daniel and his friends did excellently well even though they were in captivity and not in their father’s land.

Some people are not excelling academically because of certain factors such as background/foundation, mindset, poor reading/ study habits, wrong associations, distractions, laziness, truancy, and examination malpractice.

Ways to Attain Academic Excellence

Academic excellence does not come naturally nor as luck; there is a specific path that must be followed to excel. People excel when they work hard and also practise certain attitudes such as prayer, believing in God for excellence, self-assessment, being objective, purposefulness and goal-oriented (Proverbs 10:4). Hard work refers to diligently doing the best one can do with the gifts and abilities given by God. Refuse to be defeated in your mind. Refuse a life of mediocrity.

You have the nature of God in you as long as you are a child of God. Break out from every lifestyle or habit that does not encourage excellence. Believe in God for excellence; cultivate hard work as a way of life. Deliberately and consciously pay the price for academic success. Pay the price for hard work today to become what God wants you to be in your generation. Draw your personal study timetable and be disciplined to follow it. You should also avoid procrastination(postponing what you are to do now till later time).

Conclusion: Academic excellence is a personal decision; it is not by wishful thinking. Even though God wants you to excel, you must deliberately cooperate with Him to achieve excellence. If you trust God to bless all the efforts you put into your studies, He will enable you to succeed. When you excel, you must ascribe your success to God.

Think and Decide: What is your motivation for excellence? Decide to put in your best to excel academically for the glory of God.

Prayer: Ask God to enable you to excel academically in the New Year.

A new path towards education

A popular saying goes thus, ‘Knowledge is power’. Knowledge can be acquired through education. Education enables people to fit into the society. A story was told about a 90-year-old man who enrolled in a primary school because he did not have a formal education in his childhood. When he was interviewed about why he chose to go to school at a very old age, sitting and learning with young children to be his great-grandchildren. He replied ‘I’m happy that I am still strong and could go to school at least to learn the alphabet and numbers, now I’m fulfilled.’ So, cherish the education your parents are giving you and put in your best.

What Is Education?: The word ‘education’ has been defined in several ways. Oxford Advanced Dictionary says education is the ‘process of teaching, training, and learning in schools to improve knowledge and develop skills.’ Education also helps people to acquire knowledge, skills, values, etc., to prepare them to live independently later in future life and to fit into society. A child gets a formal education in a school. Apart from the school, the church also educates children on moral and spiritual knowledge.

Baptist Beliefs and Practices about Education: As Baptists, we believe in providing education for all persons of different age groupsBaptists believe that moral and Christian education should be provided for children at home and in the church through the different teaching agencies provided by the Christian Education Department. We believe that children can learn about God right from the cradle and grow to become like Christ. Through Christian education, children can accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour and share their faith with other people. We believe it is God’s command to teach children and nurture them to maturity in the Christian faith (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Proverbs 22:6 and Jesus in Ephesians 6:4).

Roles of the Nigerian Baptist Convention in Education: The Nigerian Baptist Convention impacts children with knowledge and plays the following towards education:

  • Supports education financially through the Baptist cooperative funds.
  • Establishes primary and secondary schools across the country.
  • Encourages churches to establish Baptist High Schools in their areas.
  • Trains teachers to teach in various primary and secondary schools.
  • Provides education and teaching materials for children, children’s teachers, and parents in the church through the Christian Education Department.

Conclusion: Education is necessary to boost the skills and knowledge of children so that they can be successful in life. It brings enlightenment and allows them to become leaders in our denomination and other areas of human endeavours. When children are educated, they can face life’s issues because they have the foundation they need so that they can be sound academically.

Think and Decide: Do you like to go to school? Decide today that with God’s help, you will pay full attention to your education in school or church.

Talk to God: Pray that God will give you the spirit of knowledge and understanding in your education