Show me where you spent your money last year, and I’ll show you what you value. If you could produce a paper trail of all the transactions where you spent money in 2015, what would we find? Late-night trips to Taco Bell? Gas for your car? Movie tickets? If you’re a student at Malone, we would also find transactions at the Business Office.
What we do with our time and money shows what we value. While students might value Taco Bell, transportation and entertainment, they also value education—or else they wouldn’t be here in good standing. They (and usually also their families) are making real, large sacrifices to study.
You could be saving and borrowing for a huge luxury sport utility vehicle (SUV), which can cost up to $70,000. But do you really want to invest in a depreciating asset like a large, gas-guzzling SUV? You might drive around in luxury for a few years, but eventually the thing will break down, rust out and join the junkyard heap.
Investing in a Malone education, by contrast, is an investment in an asset that will never be destined for the junkyard. An education, if you really embrace it, can never be taken from you. The mission of Malone is to shape your character so that you develop in “intellectual maturity, wisdom, and Christian faith” and commit to “serving the church, community, and world.” This mission is pointing to things that last.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught his disciples a similar lesson. As he put it, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).
Our culture nudges us to store up treasure and spend it on things that do not last. But an education at Malone is a way to put your treasure toward things that do last. Students here are investing in having their characters, minds and hearts formed so that they can go on to serve others.
The apostle Paul offers advice to his follower Timothy that reminds us of Jesus’ teaching. Paul tells Timothy, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19).
Let this rich Malone education turn you into a person who does good, who is “rich in good deeds” and who is “generous and willing to share.” Brush aside the temptations of the luxury SUV world and instead “take hold of the life that is truly life.”
Written Scott Waalkes (Professor of International Politics).