Question:

I went through a lot of stress in high school with algebra. Did God invent algebra? I don't think so. If He did, where is it in the Bible? Why did God invent algebra and why do we need it? People are stressed out and having nervous breakdowns over it. I bet you never had this question asked. This is a question that a lot of Christians will ask God when they get to heaven.

Answer:

Algebra is a system that uses mathematical statements to describe how different things relate to each other, especially when those things vary over time. The purpose of algebra is to be able to take known information to make conclusions about what is unknown. In other words, it is a form of reasoning that is applied to numbers.

No, God didn't invent algebra per se. Man invented algebra in order to understand and reason about the world God had made. While God's word doesn't talk about algebra, it does tell us the value of understanding. The word "understanding" translates the Hebrew word tevunah in the Old Testament, which refers to the ability to distinguish, to reason, to use skill, to have aptitude, or to use the intellect. In the New Testament "understanding" translates the Greek word dianoia, which refers to the intellect or mind, especially the mind's ability to engage in creative thought. In other words, in both the Old and New Testament, "understanding" is the ability to think, to apply logic, and to reason about a situation.

While working with numbers might not be your favorite thing to do, you still can benefit from learning the process of reasoning. For all the groaning about word problems, they are still exercises in breaking down problems into solvable parts. While Bible study isn't manipulating numbers, it still involves taking information, breaking it down into comprehensible parts and reasoning about various facts interact with each other.

It is useful when you are young to be exposed to different branches of information. There was a time when I told my English teacher that learning about the mechanics of English grammar wasn't all that important because I was planning to be a preacher. Have I ever regretted that statement! My grammar has improved greatly over the years, but I certainly didn't understand its importance back then. Algebra is used frequently in everyday life, we just don't call attention to it.

But getting stressed over anything is not good for a person. God designed this life to be enjoyed. "Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God" (Ecclesiastes 2:24). Anxiety and worry is not productive. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

If mathematics isn't your favorite subject, then you aren't likely to get great grades in the subject. But even so, you should enjoy learning what you can and do the best you are able. If your best earns you a "C" in that particular subject, then so be it. You'll probably pick a career field that doesn't place a heavy emphasis on math.