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Paying for College

Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life

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Maybe you've been accepted into a college, or are about to be. You're probably making financial aid applications. I hope you're getting the answers you need, but there's help for you even if it doesn't look like you have enough money. I know this from my own experience.

The week of my high-school graduation, my parents told me they were sorry, but they had no money for my college years. Not even for the deposit I needed to hold my space at the school I'd chosen. It was an expensive private college, and I was really looking forward to going. No one in my family had graduated from college, so I had no one to turn to for an example or for advice. But I'd been learning a lot that year about praying, so I turned to the Bible.

The first thing I read wasn't very encouraging. It was from First Timothy: "The love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (6:10). Well, that was just great. Here I needed money badly, and the Bible was warning me against running after it.

But the next verse told me, "But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness." I'd studied the Bible enough to know that it gives advice worth paying attention to. So I started to think about what it would mean to "follow after," or pursue, these qualities, instead of money. What would happen if I was righteous? Well, I'd be making the right choices. I wouldn't be doing things that would get me into trouble. People would know they could trust me. Employers would want that, and that would help me get and keep jobs.

To me, seeking godliness meant trying to live in line with God's nature. I was familiar with a biblical description of God written by Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered the Science of Christ: "The great I am; the all-knowing, all-seeing, all-acting, all-wise, all-loving, and eternal; Principle; Mind; Soul; Spirit; Life; Truth; Love; all substance; intelligence" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 587). I realized that if I wanted to live in accord with God's nature, I would need to be wise, principled, intelligent, and so on. Those, too, were qualities people would look for and trust in an employee.


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