The Rule of 4.0

“Moooommmm… I… didn’t…do…good…on… (sob)…my (gasp)… Chemistry… (sniff)…tessssttttttt. I…won’t…get…an.. A!” 

That is a real (ok, paraphrased) excerpt from a conversation that I frequently had with my Mom on the phone my freshmen year of college at K-State.

Chemistry was a nightmare. And when I bombed that first test, I was convinced my life was over. Seriously. Up until that point, I had only gotten a “B” on a report card ONCE in my life, and that was my freshmen year of high school in Algebra. (What IS it with freshmen year? And boo on math.)

I despised chemistry. (And still do, just for the record.) I didn’t understand it. I didn’t get it. And I didn’t get an A that semester. What a way to start out my college career, huh?

My friends and I had a theory in college. We called it the “Rule of 4.0.” The idea was that there were many things in life that once you fell short, it was hard to care about trying to work hard at it again.

Chemistry class was my example. After I got that first “B” in college, I knew there was no hope of pulling a 4.0. My record was marred. So I had a choice to make… would I keep trying to do well in college? Or since I had fallen short of my dreams of “perfect” grades, should I just sorta half-way try and count it all as lost?

Fortunately, my motivation kicked in and I kept trying. No, I didn’t get my 4.0 due to falling short early on (Thanks, Chem I and II…) But I did manage to graduate with honors five years later. (I took a victory lap for my undergrad, just because I could.)

Now you might be wondering: “Uh, Sharita, I am kind of done with school. What in the name of sodium chloride does this have to do with me?”

Great question. I’m glad you asked. The “Rule of 4.0” doesn’t just apply to literal grade point averages. It also applies to different areas of our lives. For example…

The Rule of 4.0 kicks in during a long-distance run after you made the mental decision to walk for a few steps… You failed right? Whats the point of trying to redeem your run? Might as well walk the rest of the way, yes?

The Rule of 4.0 applies when it comes to purity… maybe a girl (or guy) decided to engage in pre-marital sex with a significant other, but then they broke up. She/he isn’t “pure” anymore. So what’s the point of abstaining from that point forward until marriage?

The Rule of 4.0 shows up when we get reprimanded at work– we weren’t the perfect employee, so why strive to regain a solid work ethic, right?

The Rule of 4.0 comes to life in our everyday lives when we sin. We messed up… so why try to make it right and live a Christ-like life? We failed.

Obviously, this way of thinking can be a dangerous and little off the mark. The Rule of 4.0 is meant to be an encouragement to think twice about making a decision that might damage your heart, your GPA, relationships or work life. HOWEVER… like it or not, we are ALL going to fall short.

None of us are going to graduate from this life to the next with a 4.0 without the help of Christ.

Will you allow Christ to help you “graduate” from this life to the next with a 4.0?

We might get a B or C in life… or we might even flunk on occasion. God grades on a curve. And that curve is in form of The Cross.

We have the beautiful and blessed opportunity to start fresh every single day, reaching out to Christ for that 4.0 perfect score. Each time we give an incorrect answer or fall short, we can take it to The Cross and learn from the ultimate teacher.

Christ is our Valedictorian. He is the one who will help us graduate summa cum laude. He is the one to restore us to our 4.0.

Here’s to “graduating” with Honors,

“If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely.”
–2 Thessalonians 1:12 (MSG) 

PS: Where have you needed Christ to grade on a curve in your life? Have you struggled with the “Rule of 4.0?” I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below.

Categories: blessing, challenge, childhood, Christ, fulfillment, God, grace, perspective, promises | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

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9 thoughts on “The Rule of 4.0

  1. I fail. Again today I promised God I would get up and spend some quiet time with him before I had to get the kids up for school … BUT it was raining ssooo nice and I was cuddled in so well …. baby girl was right by me ~ so I pulled the warm blankie up and went right back to sleep )o:
    I’ll try AGAIN tomorrow …. and have quiet time thru out the day …..
    Please forgive my disobedience and my laziness!!!!

    • Praise the Lord that tomorrow we get to start COMPLETELY over with perfect Jesus GPA? Praying that He helps you to “Pass” with flying colors 🙂

  2. Thanks for sharing! And thanks for the reminder that God loves and cleanses and redeems us regardless of how we stumble! 🙂 And for the record, I got my first B in probably 10 years in my college freshman history class, and still managed to graduate with a 4.0 (then again, I did transfer schools midway through my sophomore year, and they only took the credits, and not the actual grade points, lol… so there, that’s my secret!) 🙂 God Bless!

    • Ha ha, that’s a great strategy, Jess… My freshmen year in the midst of my Chemistry despair, don’t think my irrational brain didn’t consider transferring 😉

  3. What a great post! A couple of funny asides: 1) my first B in college was in Badminton (and I still pulled a 3.92-ha!) 2) My oldest sister went to K-State!

    • That’s too funny… I probably would have been right there with a B in badminton… Sports are NOT my forte– I’m sure the birdie would have given me a black eye in all of my coordinated glory. And YAY for K-State! Go Cats 🙂

  4. brooke

    I have always been that way with grades…and now life. The struggle for a 4.0 is actually paralyzing…I won’t actually do something for fear of even making a B. So I won’t even try. Lord forgive my pursuit of perfection. It keeps me moving toward You…keeps me further away.

    • That’s so hard, Brooke. And I was right there with you– if I couldn’t do it perfectly, you could bet your sweet little heart that this chick wasn’t gonna do it it… But God finally broke me of that (uh, well, at least MOST of the time) and now it is so encouraging to know that HE is my quest for perfection.

      Random thought: I think of the Parable of the Talents… The Master didn’t say “Perfectly done” He said “WELL DONE, my good and faithful servant.” Praying that both of us can do well– not necessarily perfect but well as we serve faithfully 🙂

  5. I have had two students tell me they did not want to take my classes because they did not want to “risk” their GPA or “bring it down” by not taking a weighted class that was offered the same hour. They probably don’t need Food Science, or Parenting, or Nutrition and Wellness to have a full life, but I have to accept that they are making their own choices and to not be hurt and not dumb-down those class materials because those students didn’t want to take a FACS class. It is okay to be the tough teacher and it is okay to have high expectations – it is a struggle on the other side of the desk too!

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