If there was a time in my life when I could have become an agnostic or atheist, it would probably have been when I was getting my master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science. The school I attended was not only secular, but extremely liberal. There were several openly gay and lesbian students in my class and the primary focus of the program was humanistic behaviorism. During my application interview, I shared that I had recently found out my husband was having an affair. I was told I would most likely not make it through the program unless I divorced him.
Proverbs 16:3 tells us to “commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.” When we commit our works to the LORD, we are giving God ownership or control of our activities. What we do is for his glory and for the benefit of his kingdom. The word translated thoughts, machashabah is derived from the word chashab which “signifies a mental process whereby some course is planned or conceived. It means ‘to think, account, reckon, devise, plan'” (2803). The word translated established, kuwn “can refer to a concept as ‘established’ or ‘fixed’ so as to be unchanging and unchangeable” (3559).
In order to learn, a certain amount of open-mindedness is required. I was 39 years old and had been a Christian for 19 years when I began my master’s program, so I was pretty set in my ways and thought there was little chance my beliefs would be altered by what I experienced. About halfway through the program, my belief system began to crumble. What I discovered was that love was the only basis for establishing relationships with my fellow students. God’s command to love my neighbor as myself became real and a personal challenge that got me through the program successfully.