Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Priesthood of All Cheaters

When I was in school, I took a very challenging class called “Aspects of World Religiosity.”  For one of the mid terms, the professor allowed us to take the exam at home.  We were to give ourselves fifty minutes to answer two essay questions – no more.

I took the exam, honored the time given, and wrote just under three pages worth of answers.  I showed up the next day, ready to turn in my exam, and was shocked.  A few of my peers had written over twice as many pages as I had.  I worried that my work was not as thorough as theirs and I would be graded down.  I expressed my concern to the professor and he assured me that everything would be fine.

Later that day, one of the students confessed to another student that she had cheated.  She said she had taken far more time to answer the questions than the professor had allotted.  She wanted grades that were good enough to get her into a PhD program and cheated in order to give herself the greatest advantage possible.  She justified the behavior in saying this: “It’s not like I’m going to school to be a pastor.”

Even though that student didn’t want to be a pastor, I still think her actions mattered.  Pastors are not the only people Jesus calls to live with integrity.  We are all called to live our lives in a way that glorifies God.  In his first letter, the Apostle Peter tells the entire church to be holy as Christ is holy.  It seems that holy living is the profession of every Christian, not just the clergy.

As you go through the coming week, live in a way that honors Christ.  Whether at work, home, or school, live with an integrity that reflects Jesus’ holy character.  Jesus has given us an example to follow.  When it comes to following that example, it doesn’t matter if you are going to school to be a pastor or not.

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