How do you determine the “value” of an education? Well, first you have to define “value.” The world would tell you to calculate the cost of the degree and the amount of money that it will help you to earn after graduation. You would then run some sort of cost/benefit analysis to determine the “value” of the education. But this approach defines “value” in monetary terms. The Bible defines value in an entirely different way. The implications of understanding this are vast and should, among other things, impact how we evaluate an education.
In His sermon on the mount, the Lord Jesus tells his hearers the convicting truth that they cannot serve two masters, namely God and wealth, at the same time. Why? Because they can only be fully devoted to one at a time. They will either serve God with their whole heart (being content with what God has given them) or they will serve their possessions (and their desire to store up more possessions) and neglect God. Jesus commends the former and denigrates the latter.
This is where kingdom ethics become so very interesting. They are opposite of what our sinful hearts want to believe. Our hearts what to believe that it is foolish to trust God with our needs and serve Him devotedly. But deciding to serve God whole-heartedly only seems foolish if you forget that God both knows your needs and promises to provide for them. Go and read Matt. 6:24–34 and see if there is any other conclusion to come to. God has promised to provide for our needs, so there is no point in worrying about them. Rather, we should find value in anything that helps us serve Christ.
Is it not foolish idolatry, then, to evaluate a degree based on the world’s system? Rather, a degree is best evaluated by how it helps us to serve our true Master. This is why I will never regret going through the WEST Institute. How could I if I continue to evaluate things according to the kingdom’s system of evaluation? I learned so much during my time in Laramie, but more than that, I was given a set of tools that equipped me to continue the learning process. This learning culminates in sharing the truths of Scripture with others.
If I am honest with myself I will admit that I have never been in want. I have never truly had a reason to think that God has not provided for the needs of my wife and me. This includes our time in Laramie where we were taught and trained for a lifetime of ministry. We were poured into and nurtured in a local church. We were blessed with the opportunity to exercise faith in God, and, of course, He was faithful. These fact eclipses the result of any cost/benefit analysis.