Dropout

April 24, 2019
by Martin Wiles

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (NLT)

I hated school, so I decided to quit.

Elementary and middle school, I enjoyed, but when I got to high school, a sudden distaste evolved. By the time I reached my senior year, I'd had all I could take. I had no interest in learning, didn't see how any of what I was learning would benefit me, and wanted out. So, I pranced up to my parents and said, "I'm quitting school." Dad didn't take the news well and politely told me that if I quit, I would be going to work. I was okay with that. I had no plans to sit around and do nothing.

After three or four months, my high school dropout status wasn't fun anymore. The job that I found ended, and I was on the unemployment line. I decided that I'd return to school. I couldn't graduate with my class, but I did graduate that summer.

The statistics for high school dropouts are alarming. In the United States alone, 1.2 million students drop out of school annually — one leaving every 26 seconds. An additional 25% don't graduate on time. But school isn't the only place that people drop out from. Church follows on its heels. Among 18- to 22-year-olds, around 70% drop out. The reasons vary: life changes, move to college, work, judgmental Christians, changes in their religious views.

Dropping out of church, however, isn't relegated to this group alone. Others do as well. Some burn out. They take on too much — perhaps because others aren't doing their part. They try to pacify guilt over past mistakes, or because they misunderstand salvation and think that they can work to get it or keep it. Some drop out because they atrophy, like unused muscles.

God doesn't intend or want us to drop out of His work. He saves us by His grace and mercy, creates us as His masterpiece, and wants us to do good works that will disseminate His love across the world. These works don't save us initially or keep us saved thereafter, but they are proof of our faith connection with Him.

When asked, God will give me wisdom to balance my life so that my chances of dropping out of His service will diminish significantly.

Don't drop out on God. With balance, serve Him faithfully to the end of your life.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the privilege of serving You and others. Give us the strength to keep on keeping on in Your work. We pray also for those who have dropped out of their faith, that You would bring them back into the fold. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks, Martin. I’m glad you persevered both in school and in life.


    Thanks for another inspiring devotion today, Martin. Blessings on the rest of your week,


    Thanks for this devotional this morning, Martin. I found it very encouraging.
    Blessings.


    How did l know this willful child in the story was you before the name at the end?!
    Good one.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for your writing and wisdom. I need your prayers, for strength and the future. I am in the process of becoming an elder at my local Presbyterian Church. I need to be patient and pray and listen. I am a retired church organist. I don’t want to burn out.


    Thanks, Martin, for sharing this devotional with us. My parents forced me to attend church as a child and teenager. When I was an older teenager and young adult, not so much. Then I met Jesus! He made all the difference. Today, I absolutely love going to the local church!


    Hello
    This was a good devotional. How alarming is that, that there would be so many drop outs?
    Praise God that He helps us get back on the right track when we ask!!
    God bless.


    Thank you for the devotional, M. Wiles.
    In order to become a minister, you must have gotten back into the stream of education soon after dropping out.
    We praise Him.
    I’m glad you have stayed IN the Word of God.
    Keep writing.


    Good morning Martin,
    Thank you for the writing of this very poignant devotional. Thankfully our God doesn’t drop out on us and may we seek His strength to keep doing service for Him and may we encourage more young people to attend services. Blessings to you for serving our Lord as you do, and may you continue to be energized with His love and care.
    (B.C.)


    Hi Martin,
    Thank you for your devotional, always interesting to read about your past. You are right, God does not want us to drop out of His work and even in my advanced years He gives me the opportunity to do His work. But to tell you the truth I do tend to overdo it.
    Blessings.


    Hi Martin,
    I just read your ‘Dropout’ devotional and just had to let you know how much I enjoyed it. I didn’t finish High School, but years later did get my GED and then attended 4 years of college to get a B.A. Elementary teacher’s degree. I too pray like you wrote in your devotional that we never “dropout” of God’s service. Thanks again for a good read!


    Beautiful devotion. I always enjoy yours as a fellow South Carolinian!
    Blessings to you,
    (SC)


    Well said, Martin! Thank you.
    (BC)

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