Enjoying the Journey

The Most Important Lessons I Learned in My College Years

A few days ago I had the joy of addressing a group of college students in a local church. There were freshmen and upperclassmen, full of hope and excitement as they approached the beginning of a new year.

Life is divided into seasons and every season has a purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11). The college years are a time of preparation. In these days God is at work in so many ways to prepare young people for all He has for them.

All of college was good for me. Dorm life. Student Events. Even History of Civilization. As I reflected on my college years I began to see that it was in this season of life that I began to understand that some things were important and others were more important…

  • Who you marry is more important than what you major in. A major can be changed. In fact, the vast majority of college grads do not work in their field of study. But, the person you marry, is for life. You will either rejoice in or regret that choice for a long time. Choose carefully.
  • Walking with God is more important than working for Him. We are doers. Young people especially think they can conquer the world. But God’s emphasis is not first on doing – it is on being. Everything must grow out of our daily walk with Christ.
  • The local church is more important than the school classroom. This is not to diminish lectures or teachers. Rather, it is to acknowledge that the church is “the pillar and ground of the truth.” The greatest lessons in life are spiritual. You may graduate from a college but you are to be connected to church the rest of your life.
  • Stewarding your money is more important than making it. Do not set your heart on being rich. Money side tracks so many people. Learn to save, to spend wisely, to stay out of debt, and most, of all, to be a giver.
  • Discipline is more important than talent. Ability will only take you so far. Integrity will take you all the way. Don’t rely on your gifts. Work. Study. Be hard on yourself and develop the character needed for the long haul.
  • Today is more important than tomorrow. Don’t procrastinate. You will not start reading more, witnessing consistently, or ministering to others when you graduate college if you are not willing to do it now. Begin.
  • Influence is more important than education. You can’t always choose your instructor or curriculum, but you can choose who influences you. Education extends to certain areas of life, but influence affects all of life. Choose your friends and mentors carefully.
  • Staying is more important than starting. Pastor Sexton always said, “People remember how you come and how you go.” So many begin well and never finish. Determine to finish well from the very beginning.

I thank God for the college He led me to and the influences He brought me under. In many ways I am still in school. The Lord is teaching me every day and all of life is His classroom. He is constantly eliminating lesser things and showing me what is most important.

May God help us all this year to be diligent students and learn well!

4 Comments

  1. Elizabeth Patton on September 6, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Br. Pauley,

    As usual very good, well said and very helpful for anyone! What you share on your blog is God’s wisdom that He has taught you thru the years. The students ( or any Christian) can relate as they are” walking thru” college life or life in general. We are so glad to see your family being able to travel more with you and especially to have Tami with you more. They are and she is a big plus You are missed here but we believe you are right where God wants you and He is using you greatly. God bless you richly in the weeks, months and years ahead as you thrive to serve the Lord always. We know that any success you experience is a result of a yield spirit to Him.
    In Him and content,
    Liz Patton for us both.

    • Scott Pauley on September 13, 2017 at 1:33 pm

      The Lord has been so faithful. Thank you for praying for us. We just want to please the Lord. God bless you and Dr. Patton!

  2. W. L. Graham on September 8, 2017 at 7:43 am

    God’s Word says it all: “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Prov. 25:11)

  3. Susie Hall on September 10, 2017 at 1:01 am

    Great wisdom penned. Loved it.

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