To the "C" Students Everywhere: This One's for You

It's graduation time all over the country, and because most won't say it, I will:  Here’s to all the C students!

To the ones who tried their best and still got Cs, and to the ones who know they could have tried harder and got Cs.

What’s there to say about those who could have done more homework but didn’t, who could have studied an extra couple of hours a week, but for whatever reason, chose not to?

These are the kids, and the parents, we refuse to celebrate or honor. Instead, we label them as lazy – both the kid and the parents. 

Evidence seems to be on society’s side on this, too. How else do you explain how a smart child, from a stable home, would put forth so little (outward) effort in making good grades? Or how would a parent allow their child to waste their evenings on Facebook or playing videos instead of preparing for that test?

How can we possibly catch up with China if we allow this to go on?

We can’t figure out how this could happen – from the student or the parent – except to call it pure laziness.

Hmmm. Now, who’s being lazy?

To not be able to find a better explanation, and thus settle for the easy explanation of laziness, requires no imagination, no inquisitive thought, no introspective examination. Still, we go with that.

That deserves an F.

Because what else might be true about this child?

In fact, what might be the truest thing of all about him or her?

What if her heart hurt so badly, so often, that she escaped into a cocoon of safety every afternoon that didn’t include a math book? Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.

What if his private world looked nothing like the public one? Or what if – even only in his adolescent head – the world just looked too weird and troublesome to understand? Blessed are the poor in spirit, for they shall inherit the kingdom.

What if there is a war raging at home? Or even if the war was just inside the kid’s mind and emotions? Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.

What if they are eaten up with insecurities and are not assertive or bold enough to stand up for himself, and campaign for a better grade? Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

What if their best friend is hurting and they pay too much attention to that and not enough attention to physics? Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

What about the kids who have no excuses, live in a good little world, and their only hope lies in the mercy and goodness and grace of God? Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

To all the teachers out there who see these kids and offer a merciful heart (not an "A"), you, too, shall obtain mercy. And for showing it to a kid, probably an extra helping of it.

Those teachers who didn’t, well, you guys can do the math, right?

Truth is, sometimes the answer is as simple as laziness. I don't think it's usually that clear cut, though.

Regardless, this is what I know to be true of every C student in the world:

  • They are loved by the Lover of our Souls as much as any A student.
  • They are often uniquely able to see the hurt in others rather than the shortcomings.
  • They are positioned to be keenly aware that God’s love for them is not based on their performance. They will need to be guided in this, but they are likely to cling to this truth quicker than those who are convinced they can perform their way into acceptance.
  • They will not be recognized for any of these things, at least not on a stage, or on a bumper sticker, or on Facebook, by their mom who is “blessed” because Susie once again made honor roll.

So here’s to all those kids who have so much good in them, so much hurt around them or so much confusion in their world. 

Because good or bad grades? They are both temporary. 

What is not temporary? The infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus. Compared to that, it’s all rubbish.


Posted on April 16, 2014 .