When we hear the word "stewardship," we often think of those Sunday morning sermons when the minister reminds us the church building fund needs our tithes and offerings. While being good stewards of our finances is important, a Christian's view of stewardship should include more than money.
In his letter to the Corinthians, the apostle Paul wrote, "You are not your own; you were bought with a price" (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). As Christians, our lives belong to God, and he asks us to be faithful with what belongs to him. Jesus said that being faithful means loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength (Luke 10:27). Basically, he was saying we should surrender every part of our lives to him.
I sometimes talk to college students who don't understand this. They divide their lives into compartments: church/spiritual life, friends, family and school. Then they think they're being faithful with the spiritual category if they're going to church, reading their Bible and participating in some campus ministry. What they fail to see is that God doesn't want a slice of their lives, he wants it all. He wants to permeate every area so that every role and responsibility exists purely to glorify and please him.
So what does this mean when it comes to choosing a school and a major? I think it means, first of all, taking a look at your desires. Why do you want to go to a particular school? Why are you choosing a certain major? Is it because of the prestige of the school's name or the amount of money you might make in a particular career? If being honest with yourself reveals you're motivated by what the world calls success, then you haven't surrendered that part of your life to God.
The interesting thing about surrender is that when you do give up control of your life, you'll find true life (Matthew 16:25). That's because giving up your desires means finding out what God desires for you. And his plan is always better than anything you could've dreamed up on your own. He always wants the very best for you, and that certainly includes your college education.
So surrender all. Practice good stewardship. As you do, you'll discover the surprisingly beautiful plan God has for your life.
Dr. Craig Boyd is a professor of philosophy and religion at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois.