The Only B Student

Nate Punzalan
Jul 7, 2014 · 3 min read

“Cheating is bad. If you cheat, then one day you’ll grow up to be a corrupt government official, or a CEO with a knack for under-the-table deals, or a businessman with a lot of skeletons in his closet.” We’ve all heard it before. Our first school teachers would stress values like honesty, integrity, and diligence, because cheating results only in dishonesty, corruption and laziness. The instance the word “cheat” comes into our heads, we’d cringe. The instance the word “cheat” comes out of another’s mouth, we’d tell the teacher.

But that was kindergarten. When high school came along, students would stop caring about becoming a corrupt CEO. At least they would be rich. No one gave a second thought at copying answers for homework, or taking a peek at leaked test answers, or answering take-home quizzes together. At least they got better grades.

Laboratory reports were the bane of my Science experience in high school. They’re too tedious to type up (meaning they’re uncrammable, too), and most of the time the experiment wasn’t even fun or interesting. When lab reports were especially long and dull, my classmates would falsify data to make things quicker. The teacher would never know. All you gotta do is put a number close to what the result is supposed to be. And make sure there are two or three decimal places.

I’m not saying I’ve never falsified data (or cheated, for that matter. yes, i’m human), but there were a couple of times when all my classmates got A’s on their papers, while I got B’s because spending lots of time recording and inputing real data can get me too mentally tired to write a good analysis. I don’t know what was wrong—or right—with me in these little glimpses of my high school life, but one thing I was certain of: Jesus was Lord over all of me, even my academics. His lordship matters more to me than high grades.

My classmates were never caught, and I was never rewarded extra credit or anything for not cheating. I still got lower grades than my classmates. But somehow, I had peace in my heart because I knew Jesus was sovereign over my school life, and because I knew I wouldn’t grow up to be a corrupt government official.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2)

This blog post is in response to the Week 1 question, “What was your toughest lordship decision that turned out to be worth it?,” from #myVictoryStory, a testimony activity of Victory Philippines. To read other responses to this week’s question on Lordship, click here.

P.S. This might not be my “toughest” lordship decision. It’s just pretty memorable for me and I wanted to write about it.

    Nate Punzalan

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