A Word to My Ph.D. Students
Have you learned the lesson of humility yet?
I would ask all of you to remember the message of 1 Corinthians (1:26ff.): God does not choose the wise after the flesh. He chooses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, so that no one should glory in His presence.
All of us who are involved in scholarship must learn this lesson sooner or later. Jesus’ disciples are good examples for us: they were men without means, whether political, intellectual, social, or financial. God took Gideon’s soldiers away from him. He did the same with David’s armor. It is an implacable spiritual law that what is done by the natural man is useless.
How much scholarship can be performed in the flesh! This danger faces every one of us. How many times have I asked myself the question: How much of my life’s work is wood, hay, and stubble because I did it for self-glorification? The desire for fame puts one on a strict course that is almost impossible to abandon. It takes the joy out of life. It becomes the North Star of our entire orientation to life.
Unless God intervenes.
No one is less fulfilled than he who seeks fulfillment. May the Lord Jesus remind us of this fact and trigger in us a renewed desire to decrease so that He might increase. May we hear His voice in the wise author of Ecclesiastes, who put fame in its place, stripped it of its prestige, and emptied it of all spiritual value and meaning.
The Beatitudes are right after all: the happy individual is not the man who has the world’s happiness. It is the man who lacks all sources of human happiness. His only true happiness is in God.
God bless each one of you. Your Savior loves you very much. And so does this professor.
September 8, 2007
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.