how you learn it

A 67!! My heart sank as my stomach rose into my throat and they crashed into each other, making me want to hurl as I ran out of the student center. A 67 on my Family, Church and Society mid term?! How could this be? I was a 4.0 student back home! I knew Focus Leadership Institute was going to be more difficult academically, but this was ridiculous. I was beyond mortified!

If I could ever stop crying, and get up the nerve to go talk with Dr. Tacket, there had to be a reasonable explanation! I was embarrassed beyond words. Dr. Tacket was more then just a professor I looked up to – he was my modern day hero of the faith. Long before I even dreamed of attending FLI, I knew of and admired his work. That’s what hurt my pride the most: knowing that I should have excelled in his class.

Dr. Tacket is author and founder of The Truth Project. I had taught his small group curriculum, not once, not twice, but three times before I actually sat in his classroom. I couldn’t see it at the time, but I was full of pride over that. His class had the reputation of being The Truth Project on steroids — but I had taught the Truth Project, so how hard could it be?

I wanted Tacket’s approval and recognition badly. And I got it, but not in the way I wanted. Sitting in his office in tears with my tattered pride hanging in shreds from my shoulders, was not how I pictured my one-on-one time with this professor.  Question by question we went over the test. I did not understand the Humility of Christ. And no wonder, as I did not understand humility at all.

Oh, how I wanted to learn about His humility. And the Lord in His mercy was providing me an opportunity before I could even ask for it. Tacket graciously gave me a chance to do some make-up work, but before I could take him up on it, I seriously injured my hand. Third degree burns on my left hand made any studying difficult through the haze of pain and medications. Left with no choice, I had to accept the lowest grade of my life as I stuffed myself with humble pie.

Sometimes, learning life lessons is way more important than educational grades. The Lord’s educational system is very different than ours. My semester at Focus Leadership Institute was not about grades or even academics; it was about the Lord preparing me for life and ministry. At FLI, I learned that the greatest lesson we can learn in academics is how to learn. More important than what you learn, is how you learn it. The humblest heart can learn from any situation.

Did you ever have a really low grade? What did it teach you?


  1. Oh my yes. Just last spring I completed my 3 years at Bible school. I graduated from a class made up of 13 students. There were 3 valedictorians because the grades were so close and there was a few others very close in the running and then there was me.

    I took a English class on the very first day of school and got a 58%. I got some even lower grades on my music tests and barely passed English . Discipleship and other Bible classes I passed with flying colors, because I actually understood them.

    My GPA was never that bad actually, most of the time I had A average. Compared though to some of my 4.0 classmates it was bad though.

    So I had to learn to start comparing. To understand that God did not make us all theologians like Paul, but made some of us more practical like Timothy.

    The few times I got a 100 I wanted to cry. I could not understand how God in His grace would give me such a good score when I struggled so much with learning.

    Each test gave me opportunity to focus on who I was doing it for, God or Man. Who was I trusting in? My own power or God’s?

    My grade will hardly matter in a few years, but the way God taught me in His Word will last forever and that is worth more then a 100 A+ s.

    1. Bethanne, I wanted to applaud as I read your comment. So so true. It was hard for me to keep in mind as well that the Lord created us all differently – for different purposes. God or Man. Fantastic way to view it!

  2. Katie,
    I can identify with your post.
    I’m ashamed to admit that I had to go back and repeat a few classes in college before I could be admitted to any kind of program. At first, I was upset that I was going to have to do some things over again, but it turned out to be for the best because I ended up with better instructors who encouraged me and inspired me to want to study and work harder. The classes also helped me improve my writing and social skills as well,

  3. Thanks for sharing, Katie. You’re right; learning lessons the Lord’s way is more important than educational grades 🙂 This kind of reminds me about when I asked God to humble me just over 4 years ago… He answered my prayers in such a way that I never expected. I’ll never forget those important lessons.

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