I admit… I got a D- in Systematic Theology III. Now, I can rattle off my list of excuses, but I think I shall spare you the details as the humiliation is probably good for building my character.
The truth of the matter is that I am really embarrassed by the grade. Despite my constant writing about how unimportant grades are in seminary, the truth is they are still important to me. I do find far more of my identity in my grades that I probably should. I do wonder what my professor thinks of me and I want to hide my grade from everyone and anyone who might ask. But maybe that is part of the lesson this D- has afforded me.
Actually, the biggest thing my D- has has done is remind me that Jesus doesn’t have a grading scale… or at least (for analogy sake) he saw that I was going to bomb the test, so he failed it too in order that I might receive the blessing of the curved grade (uh… I know, not the best… but I did get a D-, so give me a break). But in reality, Jesus isn’t thinking, “oh, that Ryan… didn’t do too hot in Sys. Theo. III. Not sure I’ll be able to use him to expand my kingdom anymore.” And, silly as that sounds, I think some of us might struggle with that. Can God really use me if I get bad grades? Will he use me if I don’t finish my degree? These are real struggles and real battles that some of us face.
I guess, for me, at the end of the day I hang my hat on Romans 8:38-39. My D- can’t separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. That, friends, is good news indeed.
Care to share you worst seminary grade?