Teen washing someone's car.

Serving Others Can Raise Grades

blog

What if we could find a way to protect our kids from high-risk behaviors while making them solid community members and even better students?Teen washing someone's car.

Our global society struggles with this. We know that it is absolutely essential to address this problem. But who knows how to do it? Does anyone have an absolutely effective strategy?

The answers can be found in the Bible. Jesus knows the answer. He told us what to do a long time ago. Maybe it’s time to revisit His instructions and get busy with His strategy? We might even be surprised by the solution.

In Matthew 25:31-35, Christ tells what will happen at the second coming:

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

This means that Jesus is going to ask whether we have served other people. That is the question that we will have to answer. Did we care for the needs of other people? 

But there are short-term benefits to serving others, too. Research has shown that there are specific benefits to those who provide help, assistance or service to people who are in need.

And what does this mean for our kids? One proven benefit of performing service is that civically-engaged high school students tend to make greater academic progress and later they are more likely to graduate from college than their peers.

You might want to read that again.

Kids who participate in helping other people get better grades in school. In fact, those who serve are more likely to finish college than their peers who don’t engage in service.

Engaging in service is not only a Biblical directive, it also has specific academic benefits for young people in the present!

(This article is part of a series on service. View: Next>)

Author

Gary L. Hopkins, MD, DrPH, MPH is currently an associate research professor at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan where he is also associate director of the Institute for Prevention of Addictions, Director of the Center for Prevention Research and Director of the Center for Media Impact Research.