“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.”
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
This is the third session on the ‘Keys to Studying Well’.
In the last session, I explained that you need an adequate intelligence quotient to study well.
The second condition to be able to study well is a good environment.
There is a story about Mencius’ mother in China.
This story is about Mencius’ mother moving the house three times for her son’s education.
Mencius was a Chinese Confucian philosopher during the Warring States Period.
Mencius’s father died early, and his mother raised him alone.
His mother was a wise woman, and she paid much attention to her son’s education.
At first they were living next to a cemetery.
And Mencius was imitating the paid mourners.
Surprised, his mother decided to move.
The next house was near a market in the town.
Now, Mencius began to imitate the cries of the merchants, who were despised at the time.
So his mother moved to a house next to a school.
From that time on Mencius began to read and learn about propriety.
The mother thought it was a good place for him and they settled there.
Although they were poor, rather than just earning a livelihood Mencius’ mother tried her best for the education of her child.
His mother’s effort laid the foundation for Mencius to become a great scholar.
What is the reason that this 2,000-year-old story is mentioned again and again today-
It’s probably because what you see and hear as you grow up is so very important.
It is the duty for all of us to make the environment a good one for students to study.
Of course, if you receive the strength of God, the circumstances wouldn’t matter too much.
But it would still be better if you are able to have a good environment and study effectively.
Today, I pray in the name of the Lord that all you students, parents, their families, and church members will keep the message in mind and try to provide students with good studying environments.
Dear students and members of Manmin,
What kind of environment do you need to be able to study well-
First, you need a stable and comfortable family.
The family is the most basic fence of protection.
It makes the children feel safe and stable, so that they can focus on their studies.
And the essential part in making a good family environment is love and attention among the family members.
For example, suppose there are always conflicts between the husband and wife or among the siblings. Then, to study in this environment is like studying on a battle field.
Are there any parents who think like, “We had an argument, but we didn’t raise our voices.”
A war of nerves, namely a voiceless battle, is still a battle.
In childhood and adolescence, children are psychologically very sensitive. They are very sensitive about the mood of the family and they are easily affected by it.
Even though the parents do not quarrel, if they are too indifferent towards their children, it’s not easy for the children to feel secure.
For example, some parents just leave their children alone just because they are busy.
Often the parents are absent from the home and young children are left unattended in the house.
In case of an only child, they have to stay home alone.
Children become nervous when their parents are not home for a long time. They may also be exposed to TV or Internet without any protection.
Some parents who have children in middle school or high school think that it’s OK because the children are all grown up, but you shouldn’t think so.
Because of the highly nutritional foods nowadays, they look all grown up.
But it doesn’t mean their inner-self is also mature.
They are still immature in the ability to control themselves and make proper decisions for themselves. So, the parents have to help them.
It doesn’t mean you should keep an eye on them 24 hours a day.
Too much intervention will have negative effects.
They might feel the interest of the parents too restrictive, and if they are constantly under the strict control of the parents, then they cannot become independent.
Also, in the situation of both parents working, it’s not easy for them to be with children all the time.
But you have to try your best given your circumstances.
The most important thing is that the children should feel that they are cared for and loved by their parents.
Of course, you parents must pray to God all the time and leave all your children in God’s hands.
But you should not think you did all your duty just by praying.
Even though you are busy with other things, you have to take care of your children.
You should see whether they are doing well in their worship services and prayers; whether they are doing their homework well; whether they find a particular subject very difficult; whether they have a problem with any of their friends; or whether they have other troubles.
You obviously have to provide for their meals and snacks, and if you ask them what they need for their studies, wouldn’t the children feel encouragement-
Proverbs 27:23 says, “Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.”
When you care for just a pot of flowers or a little pet animal, how much do you have to care for them-
They will grow well and healthy to the extent that you care for them.
And how much more do you think you have to care for your children-
You have to care for your children in spirit and body considering them as a soul entrusted to your care.
I cannot see the children in children’s Sunday school very often, but whenever I preach to them on the children’s Sunday or in summer Bible school, I express my love for them saying, “I love you!”
Also, nowadays, I try to have more intimate fellowship with the students in every mini-crusade.
You might not be able to spend a lot of time with your children, and you might not be able to provide them with enough financial support.
However, you should try your best to let them feel your love, the love from your heart.
Next, in order for the students to study well, you need to provide a family environment where they can study.
For example, suppose you tell your children to study, but you watch TV dramas or sports games.
Or, suppose family members talk and laugh in a loud voice near the studying room.
In such situations, the students who are studying will be distracted.
Even though they are in the studying room, their mind will be outside.
On the contrary, what if the parents read the books or the Bible and listen to sermons or praise songs instead of watching TV-
Then, the stable and quiet mood to study will automatically be made.
You should provide for this kind of environment from the time your children are young.
Sometimes you think your children are too young to understand anything and just turn on the TV, but little children are affected by the TV even more than adults.
They may come to love watching TV as they grow up.
On the contrary, if you let them have easy access to good books at home and also set a good example, they are likely to enjoy reading books as they grow up.
You should keep in mind that the children are a reflection of their parents.
You students should also try not to come into contact with things that can disturb you while studying.
Dear students of Manmin, outside of the family, other circumstances are also important.
Schools are the place where students spend most of their time.
If most students in a certain school generally study hard, you can also study hard.
If you have good friends around you, you can get help from them, too.
It is beneficial to have friends who can study with you, who can share methods of studying, and who can kindly teach you and answer your questions.
There is a boy who was featured by education channel. He was at around 280th rank in his school, but he began to study in the10th grade.
The event that changed him was the change of his friends.
His friends used to play computer games with him before, but now they began to study in libraries or private tuitions. So, he also felt he couldn’t live like he was living any more.
He also began to study hard, and if he found studying difficult, he followed the example of the number one student in his class.
As a result, his grades went up very much and he was accepted by the Seoul National University.
Along with friends, teachers can play a very important role.
If you have teachers who give you hope, praise your good points and encourage you, you are likely to excel in studies.
You can understand this from the fact that if the students like certain teachers, they get good grades in those teachers’ subjects.
In case of adult members, if your company always encourages the employees to study and improve their skills, and all the employees do so, you will also study hard.
But if everyone around you is satisfied with the current situation, you are likely to join them and no longer try.
The town where the student lives and the people they meet are also important factors.
Mencius’ mother realized this fact from her experience and moved to a good place.
But even though you parents try your best, it is not something easy to change the current environment like moving a home to another town.
But I also have concerns on this matter and try my best.
One of the environments that our students have is the church.
So, I always try to make a good environment for them to study well while they lead a good life in faith.
For this reason we open English and math classes during every vacation. We try to create the environment to study hard.
If you try your best to learn the Word and pray hard, it is also creating a good environment for the students.
If you earn the recognition in your workplace or company, it can also motivate the students.
If you encourage and pray for those students who study hard, they will feel much more strengthened.
Dear students of Manmin, listening to the message so far, do any of you think, “I don’t have good family environment, school, and other circumstances, so what should I do-“
Of course, it is good to have a good environment, but environments are not everything in studying well.
I hope you will understand this point.
It’s not easy to find a student who has access to all the factors of a good environment in every aspect.
You may not have a good family environment, or you might have parents who are not believers.
Now, in a case where it’s not easy to change your unfavorable circumstances, what do you have to do-
You can avoid being bound by your circumstances.
Namely, you can study well if you control and rule over your environment.
You students must have heard many stories of those who overcame difficult situations, studied hard and became successful.
You who are believers in God can find it easier to rule over your circumstances.
How- You can conquer and subdue your situations in reality with faith and the strength of God.
Let me explain the spiritual principle applied here briefly. Your environment belongs to the physical space.
But if you stay in the spiritual space by faith, you can rule over the physical space because spirit is in a higher dimension than flesh.
For example, men of flesh find it difficult to study hard in a noisy and agitating place.
They can hear the noise and they see unsettled surroundings.
Of course, some people try to overcome such circumstances with their mental power, but it’s not something that’s easy.
But men of spirit will not be disturbed by such an environment at all.
I’ve had many extraordinary experiences regarding situations like this.
Long ago, I had to move around to go to the prayer places in different locations.
When I had a prayer place in Gang Won Do or Jochiwon, there were railways behind the house or at either side of the house.
The trains were running many times a day.
But I could not hear any train sound even though I stayed there the whole day.
It’s because I concentrated on reading the Word and prayer.
Sometimes, you might have to study in a place that is not really suitable for studying.
For example, those who have part time jobs or those who have to practice their skills along with the studies do not have enough time to study well.
So, they have to study during breaks in school or while they are riding in public transportation.
Those who control their body through spirit can overcome the circumstances and focus on their studies wherever they are.
They can control their senses of hearing and seeing as they want.
Those who do not have enough stamina to continue to study for a long time can also increase their time of studying if they control their weak parts of the body through the spirit.
As they do their best and rely on God from moment to moment, God will give them more strength.
To rely on God is to seek His power while trying to walk in His Word.
You can receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit as you keep on trying, and you can rule over and subdue the physical circumstances through the strength from above.
Furthermore, to the extent that you give birth to spirit through the Spirit, namely to the extent that you cultivate your heart with Spirit, you can continually utilize the spiritual space.
Then, you can also control not just physical environment but also emotional environments.
For example, your parents often have a quarrel.
Also, your parents are too busy to pay enough attention to you.
Or, you cannot afford to buy all the things necessary for study or to get tuition for private education.
If you are controlled by such circumstances, you wouldn’t have willingness to study.
You would only have negative thoughts thinking, “Why are my parents and my family like this- What’s the use of studying anyway-“
But no matter what kind of circumstances you have, your surroundings cannot control your thoughts if you have the heart of spirit.
If you harbor heart of spirit, you will have only thoughts in goodness.
Complaints and resentment cannot come upon you if you fill your heart with the love of God the Father thinking, “Who is my real Father- It is God, the master of all things. He is rich and powerful, and He loves me so much.”
You would not resent your family situation or parents, but you would rather pray for your parents and family.
My parents are doing their best. It must be so hard for them, too! I will be their strength and joy by studying hard.
Many of our college students have to work at part time jobs to pay for their tuition or their living expenses while pursuing their studies.
In this kind of case, you can make positive confessions of faith, saying, “I am so thankful that I can learn to be independent at such an early age! I think I have a big vessel since I am helping my parents! I will be able to go into spirit quickly! How lovely I will look in the eyes of God!”
Dear students and members of Manmin,
The worldly people rely on and boast of their friends, wealth, social power, or other backgrounds they have.
But Psalm 20:7 says, “Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.” As said, God will back us up if we rely on Him and boast of Him.
In the next session, I will introduce to you some people who have experienced this.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you students will control your circumstances by the power of God and become the witnesses who have experienced the power of God.