Eagle's View Blog
Press On! As a new year begins, I cannot help but become reflective over the past year’s triumphs and losses, joys and hurts, while I hopefully face another year. I don’t know about you but I tend to set many hopeful goals for each new year, seeking to improve whatever I found lacking the year before. There is nothing wrong with goal-setting; actually, setting goals is motivating.
However, we should never lose sight of the ultimate goal. I was recently reminded of a song we used to sing at my church years ago. It reminds us to keep our focus on our collective true goal of meeting our Savior face to face one day. Whether you are hopefully starting a new year, trudging through the middle of a year, or barely surviving the end of one, it’s important to remember that God is the One who started a good work in you and is the One working through you. Set goals, remembering that God brings the increase. Press on, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient. Always look forward to the day when you will see your Savior face to face – knowing Him is our glory, our all.
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
- 3 John 4
A young girl leans out of her stroller, straining for the shiny toy necklace in the store window. It may be plastic, and it may be relatively cheap, but to her it is valuable. Something that shiny must be valuable. We smile at the misguided earnestness of a sweet child. She is simple and naïve, though eager. But we may not be as amused if an adult acted the same way. Imagine the scene if the girl’s mother pays top dollar for the plastic necklace but completely overlooks the diamond pendant couched on a dark pillow under the counter. This would be ironic and ultimately tragic.
In a sense, our society has learned to value the wrong things, pursuing them at the expense of truth. We often seek entertainment over meaning, comfort over growth, experience over accomplishment, trifles over truth. And our children grow up learning to prioritize those same things. In a time when truth is rare, it becomes even more valuable. Truth is the one indispensable commodity, the key to seeing and living in light of reality. This way of living brings stability, even joy. So John expresses what every parent and teacher hope to say: that his children continue to walk in truth.
This, then, is the goal of a distinctly Christian education. We are convinced that the God of heaven has created us and designed us with true personhood as male and female. He has defined moral reality, ordaining truths and commands that will best equip us to live and enjoy His gift of life. And in His greatest of acts, He has sent His Son Jesus Christ, full of grace and truth, to model a truly godly life and to save His people from their sins. This grand understanding of reality, of truth, defines our mission as a Christian school.
Truth forms the foundation to the education that we provide at Flushing Christian School. More than informing children’s minds, we are forming their hearts and instincts to know, recognize, and love truth. In short, we long for them to value and walk in truth.
This happens in our opening assembly, when we recite the pledges, a core Scriptural verse, and rehearse our honor code. Truth appears in the Bible classes, both the instructional and the devotional aspects of the period. Truth forms the lesson plans for the day, orienting every subject to adhere to the realities revealed in Scripture. Truth underlies the experiences and exercises of our electives. Truth is present when the co-valedictorian of the Class of 2022 reminds his peers of the truths they have learned, or when his fellow co-valedictorian prays over her classmates.
Because we invest in truth, we are certain of a joyful outcome.
The scene of the first day of what we’ve come to name “Holy Week” is quite ironic. We see a crowd of people welcoming Jesus, inviting Him as Savior as He enters Jerusalem on a donkey. The same crowd of people who cry out, “Hosanna, Son of David! Save us:” will a few days later cry out, “Away with Him!” Israel, weary of occupation and oppression by the Roman government, was looking for a savior from their present circumstances. They were willing to accept Jesus as this savior until it was clear that the salvation He offered was not the kind they were looking for.
As believers we too have to guard against a fickle allegiance to Jesus as our Savior. When we cry out for Jesus to save us from our present situation: financial strain, physical pain, relationship issues, the stress of responsibilities, etc., we need to be careful not to become bitter, angry, and discouraged when Christ doesn’t save us on our terms. Just like with Israel, our personal salvation is only a part of God’s wider plan. We don’t know where or how our current sufferings fit into this wider plan but we can trust our loving Father that it is a good fit.
“Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits.’” (1 Corinthians 15:33)
You are an average of your five closest friends. Take the character traits of the five people with whom you spend the most time, mix them together, and you will begin to recognize yourself. Our relationships and, more broadly, our company greatly impact us.
The Latin root for company gives a helpful illustration. Combining the words for “together” and “bread,” it references the era of open-air markets where merchants would swap stories and conduct business over a shared meal. The pattern continues today.
As in ancient times, we tend to surround ourselves with the familiar, giving time and space to the people and practices with which we are most comfortable. Our routine company begins to grow more and more familiar, exerting more and more influence. This is a good thing; God designed us to function this way as social and impressionable beings. However, this includes more than just in-person interactions.
This school year, our staff has been reading and discussing The Wisdom Pyramid by Brett McCracken. This book study has caused me to evaluate my use of technology and assess whether I have been forming healthy habits or bad habits through its constant use. Whether I’m on social media or seeking entertainment, I’ve fallen into the trap of keeping company with my devices more than with face-to-face interactions, particularly when eating alone. This has caused me to ask the question, “Who is my closest company?”
That question must be asked of our society at large. I wonder if the expansive reach of social media and the barrage of perpetual “news” has caused us as a society to keep company with false ideologies. Perhaps believers are influenced to act based on feeling, to make impulsive judgments and snap decisions without deep, critical thinking. We wouldn’t be the first believers to experience this pressure.
Paul warns the Corinthians against “evil company” in relation to false doctrine in the church that seriously affected their beliefs and behaviors. The warning was desperately needed; they were being deceived, after all. Paul follows this warning with an exhortation, urging them to wake up from their stupor, grow sober, and stop sinning through their poor choice of company.
I am convinced that we at Flushing Christian School must continue to prioritize critical thinking. It is important for our students to know how to research, look up sources, recognize the underlying ideologies, then process the information with discernment. They must be able to distinguish fact from opinion and truth from error. What I desire for myself, and what we desire for them is that they delight in God’s Word, meditate on it and love Him with all their mind. Then, they will be able not only to think for themselves but also to engage this world with the truth in a humble, loving manner.
- Chantal Nelson
Head of School
(Photo Credit: Duy Pham | unsplash)